Formentera celebrates no cars
The Council of Formentera recently held an event celebrating the “European Day without cars”. Free buses were available throughout the day and a display of electric vehicles was on show in the Constitution Square in Sant Francesc.
Rafael González said that the aim of the event is to “fight to achieve sustainable mobility for Formentera. The size of our territory makes it an ideal island for the promotion of these types of vehicles.”
He further highlighted the benefits that arise from using electric vehicles such as access to blue zone parking and free entry to the Natural Park of Ses Illetes.
To further encourage the use of sustainable transport, the council has created an extensive network of 12 municipal charging points distributed throughout the island, where users of electric cars can recharge their batteries for free.
The exhibition of electric vehicles was attended by two of the three companies that have made a commitment to Formentera for this type of sustainable transport – Cooltra and Europcar. The Council also exhibited an electric motorcycle used by the local police and an electric bike used by employees of the institution. Residents and tourists have been able to see first-hand how they work.
Autumn has officially begun and will be warmer than normal, according to forecasts by the State Meteorological Agency (AEMET), which also predicts normal rainfall of 190 litres for the season after a very hot summer and heavy rains in August and September.
The new season, which runs until the 22nd of December, began its first day with clouds and falling temperatures. The temperature trend throughout the quarter will steadily drop from 23°C to 15°C from October to December.
This summer has been the second warmest since records began in 1952. The highest summer temperatures were recorded on August 8th in Formentera (36.5) and August 13th in Sant Joan (35.3). The nights have also been tropically humid with temperatures regularly above 20°C.
A resident alerted the authorities after a detachment from the cornice on the facade of the Hotel Montesol fell off onto the busy Vara de Rey walkway in Ibiza Town.
Fortunately, nobody was passing beneath the permanently closed hotel when the incident occurred and no vehicles were damaged. The local police have placed fences, whilst the damage is analysed and repair work is undertaken.
August tourist figures
Of the 595,946 tourists who visited Ibiza and Formentera in August, 206,203 (34.7%) people stayed in rented properties or with friends/relatives according to a survey of tourist movements published by Frontur. The data shows a decline in tourists compared to August 2014, when 609,151 people visited both islands, 13,205 more than in August this year.
Of the 206,203 visitors who didn’t stay in hotels on the island, 73,782 opted to rent a property, while 53,439 people enjoyed their holiday in the homes of relatives or friends. Contrary to reports of illegal rentals affecting hotel occupancy, the data reveals that there has been an increase of 70,272 tourists staying in hotels this August in comparison to August 2014.
The survey also provides data of tourists who visited Ibiza and Formentera in August by nationality. Of the 595,946 visitors, 134,710 (22%) were Spaniards. Of the 461,236 foreigners who came to Ibiza and Formentera, the majority were British, with 169,724. The Italians come second with 113,098, and the Germans third with 44,667.
Formentera to attract tourism off season
The Council of Formentera has presented the next section of their ‘off season’ tourist campaign, “Discover Formentera in October”. This campaign is one of the specific initiatives that the council are undertaking to attract low season visitors. The activities are divided into cultural, sport and gastronomic activities.
In the first and second week of October, nine different restaurants on the island will offer menus in traditional cuisine at 20 euros. This year sees the first edition of a conference aimed at physical and spiritual alternative therapies, which will take place from 4th to 11th October. In terms of sports, there will be a triathlon on October 3rd, Rise of the Mola on 12th October and La Mola mountain bike race on 25th October.
In addition, there will be a Pilar De La Mola festival held from October 12th with live music, traditional dances and activities for children. There is also an Oktoberfest, date to be confirmed.
All visitors who join the campaign will have a 25% discount on ferry fares between Ibiza and Formentera and special deals for activities on the island during October.
Sa Penya auction
Ibiza City Council has received three auction bids for two of the three houses in the neighbourhood of Sa Penya.
The house located at number 6 Calle Floridablanca, which has only the façade and was put up for 82,500 euros, has received two offers from interested parties. The second house located at number 12 Calle Alt, which also only has the façade has had one offer at the starting price of 55,600 euros.
The third home, located at number 2 Calle Fosc, has had its part in the auction suspended while an error is corrected in the specifications. The property, set at 266,000 euros, consists of three floors (a ground floor house with access from Calle Fosc, a first floor which is accessed from Calle Retir for up to two homes and a second floor with capacity for another house).
The auction for all three properties is motivated after their owners failed to comply with renovations within a two year time period.
Illegal anchors in Formentera
The proliferation of illegal anchors in various areas of the Natural Park in Formentera has forced the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment to take urgent measures for removing these devices, through a campaign that began in the middle of this month and will run until September 30th.
The tasks are carried out by the company in collaboration with the Eivinatura Diving Centre Vellmarí at a total cost of 400,000 euros.
According to the representative of Eivinatura, agronomist Fabio Torres, “we are removing anchors in Caló de s’Oli, sa Torreta and s’Espalmador and next to the pier of La Savina.”
“In the first extraction we have recovered 45 anchors, which have already been taken to the landfill and we have to dredge up another one hundred of these illegal anchors ranging from stuffed concrete cubes and remnants of kitchen countertops or chains, among other objects.”
“We have found that the anchors have destroyed 80 square meters and people have to understand the damage caused, so our work is also educational. If the seagrass dies and disappears the consequences will be serious, including the irreversible loss of transparency of the water because of erosion and suspended material,” concluded Torres.
The Minister of Agriculture, Food and Environment, Isabel García Tejerina, vowed yesterday that the Ministry will assume the additional cost of 19 million euros for the desalination upgrade in Sant Eulalia to then transfer the funds rapidly to the Balearic Government.
“I am pleased with the commitment of the Minister to fix the situation we face in Ibiza regarding water infrastructure”, said the president of the Ibiza Council, Vicent Torres, who was accompanied by the Balearic Minister of the Environment, Vicenç Vidal at the meeting in Madrid. Torres welcomed the commitment because of the very favourable impact on the citizens of Ibiza and the Balearics in general. As well as more water being readily available, the cost for users should also be significantly lower.
Radiotherapy ready for January
The Balearic Councillor for Health, Patricia Gomez, has said that the new Can Misses radiotherapy service will be in operation next January. After visiting the facilities of the new hospital, Gomez has announced that as long as there are no unforeseen problems, the Joint Venture companies Juaneda Clinic and Polyclinic Miramar will begin work as soon as possible to adapt the structure of the bunker housing the unit, which then must be endorsed by the Nuclear Safety Council.
All patients in the Balearic Islands currently have to go to Palma for ‘free’ radiotherapy treatment and, if they go alone, they must pay six euros per night to stay in Can Granada. Gomez has said that there has already been contact with the company responsible to remedy the cost. Gomez said that in the event that the problem is not corrected, the Government would not renew its agreement with Can Granada.
Free parking for winter?
The City Council of Sant Antoni has approved a one year extension for the management contract of the blue parking bays in the centre of Sant Antoni to the current management company, Silsa.
However, the government team said that after this extension, they will be pursuing the option of having free parking outside the tourist season throughout the municipality with the exception of the commercial areas, where a free rotation would be implemented. As part of this plan, the current payment system in summer will be maintained although with a reduction of the number of blue parking bays.
The Councillor of Culture and New Technologies, Fran Tienda, said that in winter “the blue zone is not necessary” and that the duty of the Council is “listen to the people who pay taxes.”