Summer only rents to be penalized
The Balearic Minister of Planning, Energy and Mobility, Joan Boned, has announced that the government will penalize owners who only lease housing in the summer months. Boned explained that in Ibiza there are many buildings in the hands of financial institutions which are closed eight or nine months a year. He said that this is not permissible as supply does not meet demand in the off-season and noted that this problem is particularly acute in Ibiza and Formentera.
“We propose to give tax incentives and to either tax or penalize owners. We will see which one is the best formula or perhaps we can combine both,” said Boned. The Minister will also announce an agreement in October which will allow the Balearic Institute of Housing (IBAVI) to provide 70 to 100 homes throughout the islands to be used for social housing.
The goal is to make sure that households are not forced to spend more than 30 percent of their income on housing. The island’s Minister of Environment and Housing, Miquel Vericad, explained that in Spain and especially in Ibiza, the majority of households currently spend more than 30% of their salary on rent, and some spend up to as much as 70% of their earnings.
In addition, the Council and the Government have agreed to create the Office of Housing of Ibiza, which will serve citizens regarding evictions, leases and will also become the focal point for IBAVI in Ibiza. The location and the exact services to be provided will be announced in late October with the hope to have the office fully operational in November.
The Santa Eulària Local Police have this weekend arrested two men accused of beating and threatening their partners in front of their children.
One of the events took place on Friday at midnight in a hotel in Es Canar. A patrol car rushed to the scene and found a man who acknowledged having fought with his partner and asked to be arrested by officers. Upon entering the room, officers found displaced furniture and traces of blood on the floor and walls. The victim, who was transferred to Can Misses, showed signs of abuse and explained that the assault took place in front of their four young children.
The other case took place on Saturday at 22:30 pm when a possible attack was reported by neighbours near to a house in the area of Es Puig de Can Fita. Officers located the alleged offender driving the family car while intoxicated. After being arrested, he was breathalysed with confirmed levels of 0.78 and 0.72 mg alcohol, so was also charged for drunk driving.
Fined for idiocy
The Ministry of Environment has fined Heineken 7,410 euros for placing a giant screen in the sea at s’Estanyol, which was used to show the final of the Champions League on June 6th.
The occupation of the public area has been defined as a breach of Article 91 a) of Law 22/1988 and the fine has been now been issued after the Guardia Civil originally filed a complaint in June and disciplinary proceedings started on August 20th.
According to the Guardia Civil report, the organizers placed a screen of 6×3 metres in the sea, ignoring the dangers of electrocution. They also installed two more screens, one of which was placed in the Pekados bar which had already been closed by the City of Santa Eulària for previous infractions. The organizers also put three lines of chairs, guest chairs and tables and sofas on the beach, and of course the ubiquitous VIP area within the closed bar. The report also highlights other unauthorized shenanigans, such as placing banner ads on the bar, installing offshore platforms for mounting the giant television screen and the presence of gas heaters. There were also complaints from several people that the security services did not allow them access to the public beach.
Taxi convoy protests piratas
A convoy of taxis toured the streets of Ibiza Town and then gathered in front of the headquarters of the Council, where they demanded solutions to the problem of illegal transportation and chanted slogans against pirate taxis. The protest passed without incident between 10.15am and 12.15pm.
The self-proclaimed representative of industry professionals, a member of Corsaris d’Eivissa who insists on anonymity for fear of possible reprisals, had a conversation with the president of the Council, Vicente Torres, who met the protesters accompanied by the Councillor for Mobility, Environment and Interior, Pepa Marí.
“We will try to lay the foundations for solving this problem from now,” said the president. He said inspections have increased and there has been improved collaboration with the police. The spokesman and Torres agreed to cooperate to combat the illegal transport. “We are concerned about the service we provide to our visitors,” concluded the president.
The drivers are obviously concerned about their livelihoods being affected, but also mentioned that the pirate taxis do not have liability insurance, often carry knives and do not know the island.
Fibre optic Ibiza
The installation of fibre optics continues to spread around the island and has now reached Ibiza’s third largest city of Santa Eulària as a team of workers were seen laying wires in the main high street this week. The landlines in the municipality will be configured at a later date, although the groundwork is already being placed.
Fibre optics cables have already been installed and set-up through the telephone network in Ibiza Town and there are further plans to invest a total of 14 million euros to bring this technology to landlines in Sant Josep, Sant Antoni and Santa Eulària, reaching a total of 60,000 homes and businesses on the island.
The president of the Ibiza Council, Vicente Torres has put into motion the activation of statutory funds blocked since 2011, which are assigned to the reform and upgrading of the fairgrounds (400,000 euros) and the Sant Rafel Hippodrome (800,000 euros). The president has visited the facilities accompanied by Marta Diaz and Juan Gonzalo, directors of the public company that manages Fairs and Congresses of Ibiza (FECOEV) to enable the development of projects. In the case of the fairgrounds, technical services have already started preparing a renovation and expansion project, whilst a study will be conducted on the Hippodrome to ascertain how best to allocate the funds.
Vicente Torres has announced that work on the fairgrounds will be undertaken during 2016, although the timing will be decided during the final bidding of the works, in order to avoid clashes with events held at the venue. The renovation and expansion will include the construction of an event room with capacity for 300 people, which will offer auditorium facilities and views inside the enclosure.
The Ibiza Council has announced a fashion competition for the creation of staff uniforms to be worn by those working in the island’s tourist offices. The competition will take place on 9th June 2016, the day before the next edition of the Adlib fashion show on 10th June 2016, and is open to all designers involved with Adlib. The designers will need to propose a uniform for both men and women costing less than 200 euro per outfit, with the winner receiving a 2,000 euro prize.
The initiative, as explained by the Insular Director of Tourism, allows the promotion of tourism on the island through fashion as well as providing the staff with snazzy new uniforms. The designs are expected to be approved within a few days after the announcement of the winner, and should be on torsos by July.
The municipality of Santa Eulària was hit hard by a storm across the island on Friday morning which threw down hailstones the size of mini babybels. Whilst residents sheltered, a number of incidents occurred which were quickly dealt with by the authorities:
- A crane was required to move a vehicle parked in such a way, that it was funnelling water straight into a hotel in Es Puig d’en Fita.
- A pine tree was felled in the vicinity of the Coral Hotel in Es Canar.
- Two separate accidents occurred on the road towards Es Canar and between Santa Gertrudis and Sant Llorenc, when vehicles were hit by torrents of water from storm sewers that had lost their tops.
- The storm has caused landslides in the Ginesta and Begonies streets of Es Puig Can Fita, as well as on the road to Sant Carles, next to the school.
Cream of the crops
The Formentera Council started an initiative six months ago to undertake a census of unused agricultural land with the aim of growing new crops through the management of the Co-operative des Camp.
A total of 46 landowners have now given 105 hectares spread over 68 parcels to the co-operative group which will farm mostly wheat and barley. The benefits to the island are two-fold in that local products will now be grown on land that was previously wasted, and the co-operative will maintain and improve the land through their work.
The major growing areas are located in La Mola and Cap de Barbaria and the co-operative is also awaiting the approval of the Balearic Government to provide 12 hectares of public land in Can Marroig which will be used for the cultivation of cereals.
Ibiza Town PRs banned
Ibiza City Council has decided to ban dynamic advertising agents, popularly known as ‘ticketeros’, in the port after finding repeated violations of the ordinance regulating this activity. Some of the establishments in the area blatantly exceeded the amount of PRs allowed for their businesses and overwhelmed residents and tourists, who were forced to avoid passing through the port areas.
This decision resulted from a meeting held this week, in which the mayor, Rafael Ruiz, with councillors responsible for the Commerce and Tourism evaluate the season and discuss what can be done to improve for the next summer. The Federation of Traders for the port welcomes the decision. “We received many complaints about the inconvenience of public relations. We would have liked the restaurants and bars to notice that breaching the ordinance was unwise, but there has been no common sense.”