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Published on 17th March 2016, next update 31st March 2016

Bullfight in Muro

The anti-bullfight organizations, Mallorca Sense Sang and the Balearic Animal Association (Assaib) have filed a series of complaints against the Council of Muro. Together they claim that the bullfight, which is due to take place on 2nd April, is illegal.

The reports maintain that the council is guilty of serious negligence in hiring a company to hold a bullfight in the town’s bullring. This is simply because the Plaza de Toros in Muro is a municipal site and therefore hiring or assigning must follow due process. In breach of formal procedure, the council could be accused of prevarication and embezzlement of public property.

A spokesman of Mallorca Sense Sang, Guillermo Amengual told press, “We have filed complaints with the Finance department in the Consell de Mallorca, the Guardia Civil and the Townhall in Muro stating the clear evidence of illegal hiring of the bullring… Failure to take into account our complaints and failing to abandon the celebration of the bullfight on April 2, Assaib and Mallorca Sense Sang reserve the right to take legal action against the mayor of Muro.”

But hasn’t bullfighting been banned in Mallorca?

The Mallorca Parliament has recently acknowledged Mallorca Sense Sang’s  petition that received almost 150,000 signatures. It called for an end to the unnecessary suffering of animals for sport or entertainment. It is also what the newly-elected government promised to do before it was voted into power. However, this is not due to be enforced until June hence Muro, one of the four towns still holding bullfights (Palma, Inca, Alcudia and Muro), is squeezing in one last fight before the ban is put into force.

What Mallorca Sense Sang Say:

More than 70% of the public is against bullfighting or have no interest in it, yet the Government of Spain invests more than €500m promoting it.

Although many politicians are committed to end bullfighting on the island, there are also those who defend it. Also some companies sponsor bullfighting.

Mallorca Sense Sang’s campaign aims to end bullfighting in Mallorca. It wants a united force to abolish it.

The movement for the abolition has made huge progress worldwide, but a lot remains to be done. Mallorca Sense Sang has a petition, and urges people to spread the word through social media.


Villa Cortina Continued…

It’s been more than a year since the Supreme Court annulled the construction permit for Villa Cortina and ordered the demolition of the luxury estate in Formentor, still to this day the future of the villa is unknown.

All expert reports have already been submitted to the court and it is these papers that will determine whether or not the house should be demolished and if so to what extent. On the table is also the report issued in March 2015 by the now former municipal architect, Jaume Carbonero, which was against the proposed legalization of Villa Cortina.

There is significant controversy over the mapping of the location, specifically with the maximum height allowed, the complainant, Masampe points to an ‘intentional’ alteration of topographic maps.

The expert report provided by Alfonso Cortina argues that both the existing vegetation is adequate and the landscaping of the new building has eliminated Villa Cortina’s visual impact.

Domestic Violence

It was a very sad week in local news with reports of the murder of a young 19-year-old Mallorcan girl, Victoria Sard. The Guardia Civil arrested a Colombian on Friday 23 and he has since been in police custody in Palma. Carlos Villegas, strangled his girlfriend in Son Servera last week. He gave himself up to the police the same morning.

The alleged perpetrator has a history of domestic violence. In September 2014 he was sentenced to 22 days of community service, faced a one-year ban for possession of weapons and a restraining order of less than 200 metres and prohibition of communication for a period of 8 months, and a fine of €210. Once the restraining order expired, the two reunited, this time with tragic consequences.

On Saturday, 500 people gather at the Townhall in Son Servera to protest against Domestic Violence, holding a 5-minute silence in memory of the victim. Led by the mayor, Natalia Troya gave words of support to the parents of young people of the town, urging them to “condemn any act of violence”. The Balearic Government was represented by the Minister of Finance, Catalina Caldera, who said, “We the government and the whole of society must work together so that such killings do not occur anymore… the government is devoted to education and social services so that this does not happen again.”

This is the second fatality in the Balearics related to domestic violence this year, after which occurred last January in Costa de la Calma.

With this murder, the number of women killed by their partners or former partners in Spain so far this year amounts to 14, of which only three had filed a complaint.

Sign Complaint in Inca

The City of Inca will gradually replace all traffic signs so that they are labelled in both Castellano and Catalan. This follows a complaint of a resident, a newcomer to the island, who received a fine after parking where a temporary restriction was placed, but the restriction was only written in Catalan.

The City Council acted after receiving a report from the municipal secretary and the intervention of the Ombudsman.

It all goes back to September last year, when the fine was issued. An appeal followed owing to a misunderstanding of the written sign. The City Council did not reply to the statement of appeal so he turned to the Ombudsman.

The official department wrote to the council on November 20th last year in which they state: “the signage prohibiting parking is very rundown and was also only in Catalan, which prevented him to know exactly the scope of the parking ban.” The office of the Ombudsman informed the mayor, in the same letter, that they have started proceedings in relation to the events described requesting that it submit information on this issue.

However, the City of Inca did not answer the official request, so the Ombudsman wrote again in January. The response this time is that the Mayor is waiting for a report but it had already been issued with the recommendation that the signs are written in Castellano. Moreno says the response will be forwarded to the Ombudsman soon, and that they have already taken steps to address the possible confusion with the signs.

The signs that will be changed concern mainly parking prohibitions at garages.

The old signs that were installed some years ago read: "Permanent Pas", so that will be replaced by new signs in both languages. In Inca there are about 1,200 such signals.

Potatoes of Sa Pobla

Some 200 farmers met last week for a meal to mark the beginning of this year’s potato harvest. Among the guests was the Minister of Environment, Agriculture and Fisheries, Vicenç Vidal, and the Councillor of Finance and Administration public, Catalina Cladera as well as the local mayor, Biel Ferragut, other local politicans and Farmers Union representatives.  Together they acknowledged that this will be a “strange campaign” because of the drought but this is not the earliest the harvest has started, in 2007 the potatoes were harvested at the end of January.

Despite the “hostile circumstances”, there is optimism and thanks to the discipline of the Sa Pobla producers, the year will be another success.

Minister Vidal spoke to the farmers about the strategic plan for agriculture in Sa Pobla and that “there is a strong potato sector”. He also spoke about what the Consell de Mallorca is doing to mitigate the effects of the drought and performing controls that will ensure the Sa Pobla potato continues to be exported to the UK. 

The attendance of the ministers was appreciated and Mayor Ferragut, noted that it was “4 years since the Minister of Agriculture attended the fellowship meal.”

Monnares Market Traders

After two months of work on Placa Monnares, the market traders are getting impatient. Returning to the square last weekend they were told not to occupy their normal places on the square as vans and trucks are not authorized on the new surface.

After some discussion between the traders and the local police, the mayor and the council’s head of local police, Miquel Angel Sureda, negotiated a compromise. The traders settled along the surrounding streets. The council remain adamant that no vans or trucks are allowed onto the new surface of the square and are drafting a proposal to relocate the traders to C/Pius XI and surrounding streets.