Local News (7th June 2018)

Bus Station Now Open…

On 4th June, the Minister of Territory, Energy and Mobility, Marc Pons, opened the new bus station in Puerto Pollensa. Also in attendance were the vice president of the Government, Bel Busquets; the Councillor of Property and Public Administrations, Catalina Cladera, and the Mayor of Pollensa, Miquel Àngel March.

The new stop, located on calle Tramuntana, is the terminus of the current Pollensa-Inca-Palma and Alcúdia-Can Picafort-Llevant routes. It is also the linking point between the bays of Alcúdia and Pollensa with the Serra de Tramuntana, namely the L354 bus that travels from Can Picafort to Sóller, and L355 bus that travels from Can Picafort to Sa Calobra. It will of course be the connection with Formentor with the L353 bus that travels from Can Picafort to Formentor.

The new bus stop, which replaces the temporary Roger de Flor stop, will reduce travel times and minimize the effects on the urban area.

…Formentor Shuttle a Reality

The shuttle to Formentor will be a reality this summer. This was advanced yesterday by Minister Marc Pons as he opened the bus stop. Described as an intermodality point, residents and tourists will be able to leave their cars in the area and take public transport to Formentor and different parts of the Serra de Tramuntana.

A few days before, the council had announced its intention to prohibit car access between the Formentor beach and the Cap de Formentor lighthouse as a “pilot test” during July and August. Meetings were being held this week between the municipality of Pollensa, the Transport Consortium and the Consell de Mallorca to make a decision on the matter.

The objective of this new infrastructure is to encourage the use of public transport, to improve environmental sustainability and to have well-preserved natural spaces without the pressure of busy traffic.

Posidonia Monitoring

From June until the end of September, special boats of the Department of the Environment will inform, monitor and advise on anchoring in areas near the posidonia meadows. The Consell has paid the Institut Balear de la Naturalesa (Ibanat) €1.9m to start work from now until 2021. The Environment Officers will control the boat anchorages in and around the protected areas and ensure the conservation of the pastures, with a budget of €485,000 per year. 

The two-year contract (with a possible extension of two more) is intended to ensure conservation in the pastures, especially in areas with the greatest pressure from boats in the summer months such as the Bays of Pollensa and Alcudia, Portocolom and Colonia Sant Jordi. Five boats will patrol the Pollensa/Alcudia bays and others on the island. Two boats will work in Menorca and  three will be in Ibiza. Another five will be in Formentera. 

Empty Bag at the Corpus Christi

Last weekend’s traditional Corpus Christi procession in Pollensa went ahead without the lamb in the main show. The Parish and its team took the decision to leave the lamb behind after the Ministry of Agriculture’s dismissed appeals that the religious procession is not subject to animal protection laws.

Those responsible for the parish made it clear on Friday that they do not share the order of the Govern, but that they complied because “it is the duty of a good Christian” also because, the fine could be €15,000. Plenty of people came to watch the procession on Sunday, to check out what Sant Joan would be carrying. It’s the first time there was no lamb and plenty of people were disappointed. But it did not take away the character of the very Pollencin tradition. 

Led by the figure of Sant Joan, always barefoot and with his face covered by a wooden mask, two female figures that embody the Àguiles (eagles) follow behind. Laden with numerous items of jewellery lent by local families, it’s estimated that each of them carries around 5kg of jewels. The two girls begin to dress around 3pm. After the church service and a traditional dance, the three lead the procession, the eagles advance together in their own dance, while Sant Joan Pelos has his own type of dance. 

The Rector of Pollensa, Francesc Vicens, explained that the dances were of medieval origin and very possibly come from the Corpus of Barcelona. Unlike other places, the eagles in Pollensa have always been played by women, and the jewels have always been real.

Catalan Subsidies Upheld

A judge has rejected the government’s request to suspend grants awarded by the council to support the use of Catalan in Pollensa’s local shops. The mayor of the municipality, Miquel Àngel March, has confirmed that the subsidies will remain in force at least for the time being.

It should be remembered that the State Bar, representing the Government Delegation and the Ministry of the Presidency and Territorial Administrations, filed an appeal against the plenary agreement adopted by the Council of Pollensa on February 22nd in which the grants were approved. 

The Government Delegation argued that the grants meant “Catalan is not encouraged as the co-official language of the Autonomous Community, but rather the elimination of the other co-official language, Spanish.” The mayor has said that it is “a logical resolution for an absurd and pointless issue.”

Santa Margalida: “Abandoned” by Government

The mayor of Santa Margalida, Joan Monjo recently sent a letter to the president of the Balearic Government, Francina Armengol, asking her to meet to discuss three issues: the management of the public farm of Son Real, the poor functioning of the joint treatment plant of the beaches of Muro and Can Picafort and the construction of a primary education centre in Can Picafort. According to Monjo, it has been more than a year since the consistory requested a meeting with the president without success, which he described as “intolerable”.

Regarding the water purifier, Monjo said that the Government “supports a project totally contrary to the tourist and environmental interests of the municipality, in addition to failing to meet its obligations and exercise their powers.” As for the school in Can Picafort, Monjo claims the situation is unsustainable, with corridors used as a dining room, only four rooms that are used as classrooms, caretaker offices. The solution proposed by the City Council is clear: provide the municipality with a sufficient budget to build a new school in Can Picafort.

As for Son Real, Monjo describes the government’s management of the public estate and its assets as “disastrous” and “disrespectful”. In his letter, Monjo asks “earnestly that she (Armengol) heed our request and hold a meeting”.