The fires at Sa Canova have increased Arta town hall's determination to be compensated. | Ibanat

The two fires in Sa Canova last week have given added impetus to Arta town hall's longstanding demands for compensation for efforts made to look after the municipality's territory, 84% of which has some form or other of protected status. Mayor Bartomeu Gili says that the town can wait no longer and is mobilising public support for the demands via social networks.

Gili insists that specific and urgent measures are needed. He is attacking all the "words" that have been spoken at meetings with the government but which have produced nothing. He notes, though, that this is not an issue with the current government alone.

The town hall had requested compensation through the system of municipal cooperation funds but in early August received a negative response. This was the straw that broke the camel's back, and the fires have just made the town hall more determined.

A council meeting in January gave unanimous support to a motion for a new system for the distribution of these funds, by which some municipalities in the Tramuntana receive some seven per cent more for a comparable level of protection that Arta gives to its territory. What this all boils down to is that Arta, as is the case with certain other municipalities, foregoes potential revenue by sticking rigidly to a policy of conservation. An example of this is the fact that the municipality has fourteen beaches, of which only a few are genuinely accessible or of any great size, but derives nothing from the likes of beach-bars or sun loungers: one of the main beaches is that of Sa Canova.

Campos, it is noted, also benefits more than Arta. This is because of the protection of Es Trenc, and that municipality stands to benefit more from the declaration of Es Trenc as a nature park.

The fires, adds Gili, have demonstrated the need for more protection than ever. The campaign via social networks has already received a good deal of backing.