Catalan Language Sparks Ibiza Health Crisis

The Balearic governments obsession with public workers speaking Catalan has reached crisis level at Ibiza’s Can Misses hospital.

3 weeks ago the Balearic Health Board approved a decree with a minimum requirement of the Catalan language to be able to work in the Balearic health service which has caused many non-Catalan speakers to consider their position.

Although 75% of the trade unions voted against, the decree was passed thanks to a single vote in favor by the current socialist government led by PSOE’s Francina Armengol with the support of MÉS and the left wing Podemos.

With this strict new language criteria coupled with the continuing housing problems some health professionals have decided to move away from the island rather than study Catalan.

Neuropediatrician Ileana Antón from Argentina is one such example: “I’m not against Catalan, I am against it being a requirement to get a job, it is against my principles that I am valued in a different way because I do or don’t speak a language”.

Anton continued: “To put it as a requirement seems to me to be a supreme level of ignorance. Those who are managing public health are doing it from their ideology and not thinking about whether the service is quality for patients”.

Anton’s boss Bartolomé Boned, is from Ibiza and he thinks the same, lamenting that it’s difficult enough already to attract trained professionals without putting any further obstacles in the way: “it’s going to be even more difficult because we’re creating a problem where there wasn’t one”. Only 5 out of 7,000 complaints received by the Balearic public health service were because the professional did not know how to speak Catalan.

“The language of a doctor are the signs and symptoms of diseases,” believes Ileana: “If Messi doesn’t have to speak Catalan to play for Barça, I don’t know why I do to be a doctor In ibiza”.

The sad truth is that 18 emergency service physicians have left the island in the last 7 months and currently there are 8 vacancies with little hope of filling them. Most of the 21 professionals who work in this service do so with a temporary contract, none are from the Balearics and only 2 currently have the required level of Catalan. Meanwhile there are waiting times of up to 8 hours in the emergency room. “The situation is critical” said Anton.

Source: El Mundo

3am Closure for San An’s West End

San Antonio council has confirmed that they will push through new noise laws in time for summer 2018 and it’s not good news for the West End. The coalition council has decided to act after acoustic tests in the town last summer showed that the area was exceeding current noise laws by up to 20 decibels.

The new proposals will see all bars and clubs in the West End area (Calle del Mar to Calle Progreso and Calle Antonio Riquer to Calle Balanzat) shut by 3am with all terraces closed and removed by 11pm. Bars will also have to invest in sound proofing and install noise limiters which can be closely monitored by the local authorities. What’s more the council have said that no more licences for music bars or restaurants will be granted.

Mayor Jose Tur said that 147 residents are currently affected by the noise from this area with councillor Pablo Valdes adding that the excess noise is like a train passing by your bedroom window.

This hard line approach has many bar owner/operators questioning whether the famous West End has a future. Last August saw terraces close at midnight which had a dramatic effect on many establishments.

In the new ordinance the government has made no mention of the criminal elements that has blighted the West End for the last few years. Rather than focussing on removing the criminals they appear to be trying to remove the people that the criminals prey on.

West End Opening Hours to be ‘Significantly’ Reduced

San Antonio council are set to introduce more hardline measures to curb the perceived excesses of the town’s famous West End area.

A new 3 pronged attack will see bars having to invest and install new sound proofing comparable to large nightclubs as many are already ‘de facto discotheques’ according to the council.

The big news will see a major reduction to the opening hours with Councillor for the Environment Pablo Valdes saying they will ‘have to be significantly lower’ than the existing 5am closing time as the ongoing noise problems in the town has it’s origins firmly in this area.

finally, a hardening of economic sanctions is expected for bars and individuals who violate noise regulations with small fines being replaced with more immediate action.

These measures are a continuation, added Valdés, of others already adopted by the San Antonio coalition council such as the pedestrianisation of several streets in the West End area and the reduction of the terrace hours.

The government team has been carrying out technical studies and diagnostics for two years and want these new measures “to represent a real change” that goes beyond the traditional declarations of good intentions, it also hopes to have the support of the opposition party so that these interventions endure over time.

The noise measurement stations installed this summer in the West End confirmed that the regulation on noise pollution is systematically violated. The records reached 85.9 decibels, 20 more than allowed. The results of 2017 corroborate the analyses carried out in 2016.

Source: Diario de Ibiza

Comment: Whether you are a fan of the West End or not it seems that San An’s Council are determined for things to change but are targeting local businesses yet again rather than the blatant crime and misdemeanours that occur on a nightly basis in that area. The West End has always been a first port of entry for many youngsters on the island who then come back every year but with little to no control over the last few years it’s disintegrated into an anything goes environment. The coalition government team seem to think that by focusing on closing the West End this would remove the problem but by doing so reduces a historical part of the town. Wouldn’t more positive policing on the streets be a better option?