I have to be honest and say I really wanted to become the 1st British councillor for San Antonio however I’ve been beaten to it and it’s almost gone unnoticed. I’m slightly jealous however I’m also happy that it’s somebody I’ve known and respected for over 20 years. CRISTINA RIBAS from the centre right political party ‘PI’ is actually CRISTINA RIBAS MOUNTFORD born in Newcastle-under -Lyme to an English mother and Ibicenco father and very proud of her British heritage even though she moved permanently to the white isle aged 3. Her mother Doris first came to Ibiza with a friend in the early 60’s at a time when travel agents didn’t even know that the island existed and it took them 3 planes to get here (a bit like the winter then!). Cristina tells a great story of how it was fate that her mother came to Ibiza as she and her friend chose their holidays blindfolded with a map and a pin. On that ‘blind’ holiday her mother met her father Toni and romance blossomed and over the next few summers Doris made the trip back accompanied by different family members with Toni visiting England whenever possible. Her parents finally married in England in 1965 and the rest, as they say, is history. Cristina grew up in Ibiza, studied tourism and has always worked within the tourist sector, firstly as a hotel receptionist and then at the airport for the last 25 years. This is where I first met her as an airline representative helping me out especially on long delays and flight cancellations. She still works at the airport but now handles private jets and their passengers – how times have changed. Cristina is married to Evelio who is also from the island and they have two daughters and they all share the same love of Ibicenco culture and tradition and even perform the Ibicenco folklore dance.
Cristina says “Although my heart is mainly Ibicenco I feel as much English as I do Spanish, I’m proud of my English blood and although my parents and grandparents are no longer with us I like to visit family and friends in England as often as possible and keep the ties. I’ve decided to go into politics because I love San Antonio and I think there’s so much to be done and why not do my share. To all British residents: I will be pleased to assist you with anything in any way I can”.
From 13 June 2015 Cristina will have a lot more work on her plate as she embarks on this new chapter in her life, she will be involved in various jobs at San Antonio Town Hall: Trade, Agriculture and Fishing, Fiestas for the villages, Ibicenco culture and traditions and in charge of the Buscastell, Santa Ines and San Mateo areas.
Having personally known Cristina for over 20 years I am delighted that someone who understands the British culture and mentality is now occupying a seat in the town hall as this can only be a positive for our town. MM
At 1.15pm on Saturday 13 June 2015 a new local government will be sworn in to lead San Antonio for the next 4 years. PSOE, PI and REINICIA have formed a coalition pact to force out PP for the first time in 35 years. PSOE are socialists, Reinicia err towards the left and PI are centre right so on paper this pact looks like a disaster waiting to happen but island politics is a strange animal where most politicians are close personal friends and where family members run against each other for different political parties. The end result is that most parties have similar issues and objectives so really it’s all down to personalities. On paper PP & PI look like perfect bedfellows, mainly local business people with centre right beliefs, however scratch away at the surface and you hear rumours of personality clashes and broken promises between the 2 parties. PI with local lawyer Juanjo Ferrer as their leader have had 2 seats over the last 4 years and have to endure being consistently thwarted by the majority PP party in everything they have proposed so now is payback time. Memories can be very long in local politics.
PSOE led by Pep Tur ‘Cires’ will now lead the local chamber. Cires has done a fantastic job as the president of Es Nautic Sant Antoni so let’s hope he can bring this philosophy over to the town hall with his new inexperienced team He has consistently said that San Antonio needs to ‘change’ its touristic model which will be a major challenge but he now has 4 years to make his mark.
This just leaves REINICIA who are the newbies at the table. They have reached out to the 18-40’s and through social media they have been constantly banging the drum about how San Antonio has got to change – now they will get their chance to lead rather than criticise. Their undoubted enthusiasm will have to be tempered with the realization that ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’ however with their passion for San Antonio they should be able to make a difference. Whether they can work with the other parties remains to be seen as they will be like the hyperactive kid in the classroom who wants to do everything NOW so their charismatic leader Pablo Valdes will have his work cut out to keep the wheels moving and everything calm.
For local residents & businesses it is going to be an interesting ride, the overall feeling is that San Antonio has to change but only time will tell whether a Tri-party coalition is the best way forward. I sincerely wish Sres Tur, Valdes and Ferrer all the very best for the next 4 years and sincerely hope that they have a positive effect on our town and if they get it right they will get my vote in 4 years time. But if they don’t………
No one said it was going to be easy. Watch this space. MM
Don’t be put off by the casual dress & tattoed neck of the guy on the left. His name is Pablo Valdes and he’s thrown a major spanner in the works of old school local politics. His 1496 votes in the recent elections means that his REINICIA party have 4 seats on the council and has enabled a Tri-party coalition which will see San Antonio free from the PP party for the 1st time in 35 years. Pep Tur ‘Cires’ (PSOE – 6 seats) will become Mayor with Valdes assuming Deputy Mayor status. Juanjo Ferrer (PI – 3 seats) will become the 2nd Deputy Mayor in a major shake up & kick up the bum for local San An politics. Only time will tell if this coalition will be successful however I feel we need to get behind our new local government and support them but also keep them accountable with relation to their election promises.