Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Second sentence for corruption against the local ex-minister Buils (Case Bitácora)

So called Bitàcora case, related to the irregularities that took place in the department for Tourism of the local government, was concluded yesterday with minimal sentences. Sanctions were agreed between the public anticorruption prosecutor and the defense lawyers, after a negotiation that forced the accused to confess and to return the money. In exchange the prosecution requested only sentences that would not involve prison. In most cases the sanctions are economical. This case pivoted on Francesc Buils, the ex-minister for Tourism in the past Pacte coalition government, and accused of corruption for the second time.

Miguel Ángel Bonet, previously legal advisor to the Department of Tourism and on whom weigh another sentence for corruption, also admitted his guilt. He will pay a fine and spend six months in prison. The other five accused will also be sanctioned with fines. These are Maria Magdalena Estarellas, Silvia Riera, Cristina Sastre, Micaela Sastre and Baltasar Estarellas. They all reached an agreement with the prosecution, which had requested long prison sentences and return of the embezzled funds. The local government has recovered almost 40.000 euros. After this economical contribution, the prosecution accepted that confession and repair of the damages would be accepted as mitigating circumstances. The economic sanctions to be paid by the accused, on top of this compensation, are around 2.000 and 3.000 euros.

Complete article (Spanish).

Town Hall rejects the extension of the Port of Molinar

As no surprise, the posture of the new town council towards the extension of the Port of Molinar is firm: “The project is plagued with deficiencies. Incomprehensibly, it does not contemplate the extension of the Port of Palma, which should go hand in hand, and besides it supposes a negative modification of the Molinar neighborhood. For these reasons, and true to the policy of zero tolerance towards speculation within urban development, we are going to urge the Port Authority and the Ministry to paralyze, reject and withdraw the project”, stated Antoni Noguera, the Deputy Mayor and head of the department for City Model, Urban Planning and Decent Housing.

On his side, Àngels Fermoselle y Pedro Martinez, members of platform “Al Molinar, Port Petit”, whom he thanked for “being the main driving force behind the new form of governing where the politicians should be on the side of the society”. “Other forms of governing are out”, added Noguera, as if he was still doing election campaign.

A politician from the group “Més per Palma” indicated that a meeting with the Ministry has already been requested. In order to reach a maximum consensus, a working group will be created in which “the future of the Port of Molinar will be agreed upon by the society”.

Complete article (Spanish)

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Changes in the professional nautical qualifications

To be able to convert your calling, what you like to do most and what makes sense to you, to your modus vivendi: that your passion becomes your profession. If we talk about the sea, this target is not so far off with the new legislation. Up until now, to be professionally dedicated to sailing required a PPER (certificate for professional skipper of a recreational vessel), although like in many walks of life, a rule does not necessarily protect against unqualified practices. 

For this reason, and also to get rid of the limitation that prevented many boat owners and captains to get paid for their services and get by economically, a legislative reform was carried out. We would like to draw your attention to one of the principal organizations and a voice of authority in this process. If you have a PPER, you are a captain or a boat owner and you would like to dedicate yourself to, for example, charters, please listen to the conversation we had with the president of the Spanish Nautical Trade Association (ANEN), Carlos Sanlorenzo.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Letter from the president: June 2015

In May we concluded the best Palma Boat Show for a long time (and we should know as we have participated one way or another since the very first show). It just shows how beneficial cooperation between the public administration and the private sector can be. The last few weeks have been very intensive for our companies from a marketing point of view: Palma Boat Show, Best of Yachting Puerto Adriano, Pollenca Race and Boat Show… An excellent way to start the high season and to attract the attention of potential clients. Recently also the elections for the Town Halls, the Island Council and the local Government took place. The results will change our political map quite radically, but at AENIB we will be  working hard to find consensus with the political forces in order keep up with the recovery for which we have fought so much over the years.

The recent elections will transform the political scene of our islands, and seemingly also the way things are done. Over the past months prior to the elections we had meetings with the representatives of the various political parties in order to present them our proposals how to support the nautical activity in the Balearic Islands: simplify the bureaucracy and to strive towards fiscal equality with our European neighbours. We don´t consider these measures ideological but rather rational, and they can only lead to an improvement of the economy of our community. We are not asking for subventions, handouts or special favours, like many other sectors do. We want to be able to work under the same conditions as our competiton, in order to make our islands a must for all sailing enthusiasts. If we invest in the nautical activity, everybody will gain. Nobody should forget the strategic nature of our sector and its capacity of growth.

The Palma Boat Show grows at every edition. More visitors, more tradespeople, more stands, more brands and more business. It is an attractive show for all parties, and also capable of paying for itself – a very important detail in these difficult times. For years the show was seen as a means of making money to finance other events, while there were no real efforts to make it more attractive and the protests of the sector fell on deaf ears. We all know the result: one year the show was cancelled because of lack of interest. But at AENIB we rolled up our sleeves, prepared a new project with the help of our associates and presented it to the Organizing Committee. This project was the backbone on which the current success of the show is built on. Cooperation between the public administration and the private companies has been essential for this success, and at AENIB we plead the new authorities to carry on along the proven track and not to repeat old mistakes. It is of utmost importance for our businesses to be able to count on a successful show that can be a stepping stone for them to attract important international customers.

The ports of Alcúdia, Pollenca, Adriano… during the last few weeks these ports have hosted fairs with high numbers of participants, which shows both confidence on the exhibitor side as well as interest by the public towards the new product on the market.  At AENIB we would like to congratulate the organizers and exhibitors alike, and encourage them to give continuity for these events. We would also like to challenge other municipalities to follow the example and organize their own nautical fairs. It will be a great help to the nautical companies, people will see that yachting is not just for the rich, and it will boost the retail and restaurant activity in the area.