IT appears that the town council of Artà is unable to solve its financial problems and improve its chronic debt. After closing the accounts for 2004, a new accounting error has allegedly been discovered. This hole in the accounts is for a sum of 533'000 euros corresponding to a loan in 2001, when the Mayor was Montserrat Santandreu, and it was accounted twice, in what has been described as an accounting error. The current Mayor for Artà, Rafel Gili (from the Majorcan Unionist Party, UM), said a mistake of 60 or 100 euros is understandable, but 533'000 euros is a serious mistake. Therefore, the Mayor will begin a audit next week to find out who and what is behind this accounting error. The last Mayor for Artà, Margalida Tous, now spokeswoman for the Independents, has asked the council to look into the matter. The council had hoped to close 2004 by decreasing the deficit by 800'000 euros, but the error, which had gone unnoticed since 2001, now complicates matters.
FROM the sea and from a bird's eye view, the view speaks for itself, an extensive landscape full of cranes and building works dominating most of the Manacor coastline. Only a few very tiny spots of unspoiled beaches and green areas can be made out amongst this grey and concrete coastal building site. Even though the coastline from Estany d'en Mas to Calas de Majorca has been preserved as a green area, the coastline from Cala Anguila to S'Illot is full of newly built houses. The main reason for this is the Law of 1980 which allowed for the population to increase in size by up to 180'000 inhabitants. The residents in Cala Magrana say that the area has changed considerably and each day there are more and more houses being built and more cranes erected. A new construction that has started a few metres from the sea in Cala Magrana has angered the residents. We want to know how many more houses they can possibly build in Cala Magrana. In only a few years, the area has been transformed and is now full of houses with swimming pools that are barely a few metres away from the protected sea line. We don't understand how the town council of Manacor has allowed building works to take place in protected areas, said some of the residents. Currently Cala Magrana and Cala Mendia only have a few metres of land left for more building works.
THE Campanet Co-operative is planning to create a Plant Defence Association (ADV) this year with the aim to help protect the olive growing lands in the area. Currently the Co-operative already has a total of 600 hectares of land that owners are ready to sign up to this new association. This new project was presented at a meeting on 23 February. The President of the Co-operative, Franscesc Morell, said that all olive lands and farms can join this association, which will develop plans for plant hygiene as well as having experts who will be in charge of increasing the production on these lands. The owners of the lands who join up to this association can also get access to financial grants. This type of association is important as there are many plots of land in the area that are dedicated to growing olives and yet there is no kind of group that offers them protection, said Morell. He also added that land owners in Selva, Caimari, Manacor and Campanet have already signed up to this new project. The meeting on 23 February was also used to present 2004 accounting figures to the members and Morell said he was proud of the results that they had achieved. The Campanet Co-operative has only been going for one year but during this time we have achieved results that we were not expecting, so that we can now set off our expenditures with our incomes, Morell said.
THE Palma judges have given the order to the town council in Sineu to close as a precaution the petrol station and all its associated buildings in Son Hugo, next to the road between Inca and Manacor. The judges gave this order as they consider that the building works at the petrol station site are not in-line with any of the permissions that were originally obtained. The initial project has undergone several modifications that are not covered by the original building permits, said the judges. The judges added that the surface of the land that has been built on is larger than what was planned and also has installations that were not included in the original project, such as a carwash, a cafeteria, a basement, a childen's play area and a public telephone. The Mayor of Sineu in April 2003, Andreu Matas, decreed the closure as a precaution of the petrol station and its associated installations, which only had permits to construct 120 square metres instead of the 1'300 square metres that have been built on.