A privately owned light aircraft carrying
nine people, two crew and seven American businessmen, disappeared
on a routine business flight from Spain to Algeria.
The privately owned plane left Barcelona
airport at 10:15am on Wednesday 10th October and last made
contact with the Barcelona control tower at 11:41am.
Approximately at that time the aircraft
would have been flying over the Mediterranean Sea, just over
Radio Nacional de España (Spanish
National Radio) suggested that the light aircraft may have
suffered flight difficulties caused by bad weather and may
have fell into the sea just off Ibiza.
CNN News is also reporting on the story
and, at the time of writing the plane has not been located.
Let's hope this will not be another tragedy for the American
people to cope with.
Protection For The Posidonia Plant
The Conselleria de Medi Ambient (Environmental Council) has
finally got its wish this week when the Spanish Government
at last approved a project aimed to protect the extensive
sea-bed of the posidonia plant in the Balearic Isles.
The posidonia plant, after years of constant
abuse, is feared to be an endangered species and, after various
ecologists on the island expressed how important posidonia
is to Ibiza, it now seems that it will be protected by law.
"Proteccion de Praderas de Posidonia
de Balears" (Protection of the Posidonia Meadows in the
Balearic Isles) is the name that has been given to the new
protection programme which will start to function immediately.
Locating the posidonia meadows, eliminating
the deadly virus 'taxifolia' and a survey of the most important
marine species such as the turtle, dolphin and cormorant are
just some of the many activities that will be taking place
between now and 2005.
The project will cost a grand total of 1,000
million pesetas, with 50% of the money being donated by the
Just as things had started to look-up for the islands environment,
local politician of the 'Pacte' organization, Bernat Joan,
has got himself into trouble.
The Consell Insular (Islands Council) has
issued a complaint against the politician after he proceeded
to build himself a house in an Area Natural de Especial Interes
(Natural Area of Special Interest).
A new law approved and actively supported
by Bernat Joan, restricts all building on rural soil and,
especially in a Natural Area of Special Interest.
The members of the political party 'Partido
Popular' (PP) are demanding an immediate solution to the problem
and are asking the San José Council and the Consell
Insular to take action against Joan as soon as possible. In
a recent statement, a local PP politician said: "It doesn't
present a good image when a politician like Bernat Joan, who
not so long ago supported the new law, disobeys the local
council while other people are expected to remain quiet and
Accommodating The Police
The 36 families living in the Guardia Civil's (Civil Guards)
headquarters are still waiting to be re-housed after the building
failed to pass an inspection earlier this summer, proving
that it wasn't safe enough to be lived in.
The Federacion Hotelera (Hotels Federation)
promised earlier this week to help in the search for new homes
for the Guardia Civil, who are now growing very concerned
about the situation.
Two blocks of residential apartments in
San Antonio seem to be the most promising choice so far, even
though the Guardia Civil would have preferred all the families
to live in the same block of apartments so that they would
have all their officers under the same roof.
The Federacion Hotelera are negotiating
with the owners of the two San Antonio apartment blocks, which
would be occupied by the members of the Guardia Civil for
two, and a half years.
The families are hoping to move out of their
unsafe homes during this month or, at the very latest, November
of this year. The building will then be demolished in December
so that a new modern headquarters for the Guardia Civil can
be built in its place.
Construction Site Safety
Two tragic accidents took place this week at different locations.
The first accident happened at a building
site in Can Canto where a 56-year-old man fell to his death
from the first floor.
The accident took place at 12 o'clock on
Monday 8th October when, according to various witnesses, part
of the floor collapsed causing the man to fall from a height
of just under four metres.
Even though an ambulance arrived at the
scene of the accident almost immediately, there was nothing
the paramedics could do to save the man's life because he
had critical head injuries.
The second accident took place in Formentera
only six hours after the first, at approximately 18:00pm,
when a 19-year-old electrician fell from the electrical pole
he was working on.
It is thought that the young man lost his
balance and fell and that the accident wasn't caused by an
electrical shock. The fact that he wasn't wearing a safety
harness or helmet could have meant the difference between
life and death.
These two fatal accidents are now being
investigated by the Policia Local (Local Police), Policia
Nacional (National Police) and the Guardia Civil (Civil Guards).
Since the start of this year five people
have lost their lives in industrial accidents.
As a result of these latest two tragedies,
several construction workers and trade unionists held protest
in Vara de Rey (Ibiza Town) on Wednesday 10th October demanding
the installation of a permanent 'work inspection' office that
would be responsible for ensuring the safety of construction
sites on the island.
The protesters held a minute silence for
the two men that died.
"Day Of The Tourist"
Ibiza celebrated its annual "homage to the tourists"
with a special two-day festival packed with activities.
Every Ibicencan town took part in the celebrations
on Friday 5th and Saturday 6th October.
Each town organized a different programme
of activities centred around the Ibicencan tradition and culture.
Ibiza Town chose to honour one tourist in
particular: Dieter Ortmann, a German tourist who has visited
the island every year for the past 30 years.
Dieter Ortmann felt very honoured to receive
a special commemorative plaque from Ibiza Town Hall.
Ortmann took the chance to make a brief
speech about his views on Ibiza: "The island has changed
so much over the past 30 years, so many construction sites
and hotels are spoiling Ibiza's natural environment.
Although I have to say that Ibiza has improved
in many ways also. Dalt Vila (Ibiza Old Town) used to be very
dirty and unsafe, but over the past few years it has changed".
Dieter thanked the local councillors and
said he hoped to continue visiting Ibiza for many years to
San Antonio organized a special session
of 'ball pages' (traditional Ibicencan dancing) as well as
a large buffet of typical Ibicencan food such as 'orelletes'
and 'bunyols' (sweet cakes eaten only on special occasions)
and 'sobrasada' (pork sausage).
At first, the tourists found it hard to
believe that everything was free but soon they were enjoying
an evening of Ibicencan dancing and food.
San Miguel celebrated the "day of the
tourist" by offering free rides in the mini-train that
took them on a scenic route around parts of the town
Formentera also celebrated with various
activities throughout Saturday morning.
All in all, local politicians considered
the "day of the tourist" to have been a huge success,
gathering holidaymakers from all over the island.
Some business owners on the island did complain
about the festivities however as they believe the activities
are the same each year and are considered boring by the tourists.
Maybe more planning and originality should go into next year's