Work starts

WORKMEN and heavy machinery have been working on the site of the new Guardia Civil barracks for several days, despite no official announcement having been made. Both the town council and the Guardia Civil had been demanding a new barracks for more than ten years, but plans have been plagued with difficulties and setbacks. The new compound will include housing for officers and their families and will allow the Guardia Civil to close the existing premises in General Luque, which is in a state of ruin. Work is due to last 18 months and cost two million euros.

Illegal operation

THE environmental group GOB plans to go to court in an effort to stop the dredging of the port of Porto Colom. It alleges that the seabed may have one of the most important archaeological sites in the western Mediterranean, which would be lost in the dredging. A spokesman claimed that remains ranging from objects more than 2'200 years old to ceramics from the 17th and 18th centuries had already been identified. He added that the law is very clear in this matter and lays down harsh penalties for administrations which, knowing of the existence of such sites, authorise works which could damage or destroy them. The operation is due to be carried out by the Balearic ministry of public works. In view of the law, the spokesman said, the work would be illegal, as the remains have been documented by experts for more than three years and the authorities are aware of this. GOB has called on the ministry to stop work and to make “serious explorations to recover a heritage of incalculable value.” The spokesman said that there was no technical or scientific basis for dredging the port, which the ministry says will put an end to bad smells. It plans to extract 150'000 tons of sediment in the area between Sa Bassa Nova and Es Riuetó. GOB admits that the area needs cleaning but says that the causes of the excess of sediment should be tackled and a proper plan drawn up, otherwise the problem would reoccur.

Larger market

A group of 50 traders had talks with Mayor Antoni Serra, to discuss the possibility of extending the Sunday market and the state of work currently taking place to make the town centre a pedestrian only area. The traders also wanted clarification of the rumour that the market would be moved from the Plaza Mayor to the Plaza del Mercat. The Mayor denied the rumour. He said that the market would only be moved on days when it was not possible to hold it at the Plaza Major, as happened on January 16, because of the St Anthony fiestas. But he did say that the council was considering diversifying and enlarging the market to other streets such as Calle Asalto-Crestatx, around the church, and Calles Mercat and Gran. The Mayor said he would have talks with the company which is pedestrianising the centre, and added that the state of work would be inspected every two or three days.

Canary show

A canary show will be held at Puerto Portals at noon on Sunday, January 30. It is open to all canary owners and there will be prizes in various categories, including best colour, best posture and best hybrid. Those interested in entering their birds should ring 971 228415.