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Local News in Ibiza

Local News
by Louise Wright

Environmental Protection for Ses Salines

Ibiza Local News

Tuesday 11th December was a historic day for Ibiza and Formentera. The Parliament of the Balearic Isles approved a law of Environmental Protection for the area of ses Salines.

Since 1996, ses Salines has been categorised as a nature reserve, but the locals didn't seem to consider that this was enough and so fought for protection by law for this area of outstanding beauty in Ibiza.

Finally they have got their wish thanks to the Partido Popular (Popular Party), who were voted into power at the last election, and the Ministry of Environment, who have now proved that they are totally dedicated to conserving and protecting Ibiza's environment.

The Environmental councillor, Margalida Rosselló, expressed how content she was with the Parliament's decision: "This is the first environmental law that has been presented to the parliament and the fact that it has been approved makes me feel very happy. Finally ses Salines has been awarded justice after fighting for protection for over 30 years".

A large part of the law was approved unanimously although parts of it caused some controversy between the members of the Balearic Parliament. In the end the majority approved the law.

The vice-president of the Consell Insular (Island Council), Vicent Tur, also wished to comment on the news: "Although it has been a long battle, I am delighted that finally the locals have achieved their goal".

Other local politicians, such as Miquel Ramón and Joan Buades, also expressed how pleased they were with the Parliament's decision.

Quality Hotels

Three hotels in Ibiza are hoping to receive the prestigious Q for quality award on 20th December.

The hotels were tested back in October and, according to the co-ordinator of the Federación Hotelera (Hotel Federation), Rosa Cicuéndez, "gave very positive results".

So far the hotels Playa Real, Seaview Country Club, Aura, Presidente and Formentera Playa can already boast of having received their Q for quality awards.

Approximately 30 Ibicencan hotels are actively working to improve their quality of service so that they can also receive a Q but most local businesses are finding this involves a lot of dedication and hard work.

Only very few of these awards are issued each year in Spain.

The president of the Spanish Institute of Tourism Quality, Eduardo Gomero, will travel from Madrid to Ibiza on 20th December to award the Q's.

Earthquake Scare

An earthquake in the Mediterranean Sea between Ibiza and Alicante registered 3.4 degrees on the Richter scale on Thursday 6th December at 13:48 GTM.

Even though the epicentre of the quake was 84 kilometres south-east of mainland Spain, neither Ibiza nor Alicante suffered any strong tremors.

Ibiza And UK Unite In Fight Against Drugs

British police officers and Spanish security officials (Civil Guards and National Police) have formed a new syndicate that aims to prevent the traffic of drugs in Ibiza during the summer months.

The new syndicate's first meeting, which took place in Ibiza on Monday 10th December, was attended by the Balearic Secretary of State, Marienna Sánchez-Jáuregui; several police officers from the UK, the British vice consulate in Ibiza, officers from the Guardia Civil (Civil Guards), the Lord Mayor of San Antonio and various councillors from the Con sell Insular (Island Council).

"The meeting has been very interesting, positive and constructive", said Marienna Sánchez- Jáuregui, who hopes that this meeting will be "the first of many to come".

During the meeting the officers exchanged information regarding the most serious problems and discussed possible solutions.

Sánchez-Jáuregui added: "I believe that international collaboration is a sure way to solve these problems. 40% of tourists that visit San Antonio in the summer are young British people, therefore both groups of policemen, English and Spanish, understand and have experienced the same problems first hand".

Both parties have agreed that the most urgent problem to tackle is designer drugs, such as ecstasies, which is the drug of choice for most young British people on holiday in San Antonio.

During the syndicate's next meeting, members will discuss possible solutions to other problems involving British youth that visit San Antonio in the summer months.

Christmas Shopping

Now that the hustle and bustle of the festive season has begun, Christmas shopping is high on the list of things to do.

A recent survey conducted by the Unión de Consumidores de España (Consumers Union of Spain) has revealed that we Ibiza residents spend approximately 105,985 pesetas (407 pounds) each over the Christmas and New Year period.

According to the survey, the largest amount of this money will be spent on food; 14,532 pesetas in the home and 23,486 pesetas eating in restaurants and cafés.

A large sum is also spent on the Spanish Christmas lottery on which each person spends an average of 16,316 pesetas, in comparison to last year's 9,745 pesetas.

A figure of 22,515 pesetas of the Christmas budget will be spent on going out to parties, theatre, cinema, etc.

Each resident will spend 18,201 pesetas on Christmas presents this year, as well as an additional 10,939 pesetas on toys for children.

According to a spokesperson of the Consumers Union of Spain, "these figures are not that alarming when you compare them to those of other places in Spain such as Madrid or Navarra, where each person will spend approximately 130,000 pesetas over the Christmas period.

As every year, the Consumers Union has issued a list of useful Christmas shopping tips in order to avoid any unpleasant surprises over the holidays.

One of the first tips they offer consumers is to do your Christmas shopping before 15th December because, after this date, most shops increase their prices.

The Consumers Union also recommends people to compare the price of a product in different shops and "don't just be seduced by the promotional campaign, more publicity doesn't necessarily mean cheaper prices".

Security is also one of the Consumers Union's priorities: "Do not attend Christmas or New Year parties that don't comply with the law and only buy toys that are marked with the symbol Comunidad Europea (European Community), which guarantees that the product has passed a security and quality control inspection".

With these tips in mind and 105,985 pesetas in my purse I'm off to do my Christmas shopping, see you next week!

Louise Wright