British Consulate

September 23rd, 2008 - 4:29 pm Posted in British Ambassador to Spain, Denise Holt, helen watson, ibiza, meg munn, xico tarres | Comments (1)

The great and good of the British community were out in force at the inauguration of the newly renovated British Consulate in mid-September, accompanied by a selection of island dignitaries including the President of the Island Council, Xico Tarrés.

The Consul still occupies the first floor of Avenida Isidoro Macabich 45 in Eivissa town, but has been dramatically upgraded to “a modern office that sets a standard for Consular offices throughout the world.”

The inauguration was hosted by our long-serving Consul, Helen Watson, who was accompanied by Denise Holt, the British Ambassador to Spain. Denise made Ibiza her first port of call upon her appointment as Britain’s Ambassador last year.

However, the political celebrity afforded the privilege of unveiling the commemorative plaque was the Secretary of State for Consular Affairs, Ministry of Foreign and Commonwealth Office – Mrs Meg Munn.
Mrs Munn is the Minister in charge of all of the British Consular offices around the world, and was quick to point out that Ibiza is one of her busiest Consular offices as 750,000 Brits visit Ibiza each year (26% of all Spanish visitors).

This was her first visit and proved to be a typical tourist experience. Her flight was delayed for four hours, finally arriving at 1:30 am. However, displaying true British grit she went from the airport to the West End and from there to Amnesia. Whilst pointing out that this was not the normal work of a British parliamentary Minister, she confessed that she was very pleased to have been the one to be given the brief, which she described as being “a first hand verification of the Consular service being provided to British citizens”.

Despite the unseemly hour, she still found the time to discuss with the Mayor and the police ways to make the island safer for young British tourists to ensure that the island remains a premier tourist option for the Brits.

At the inauguration the next morning, clutching a glass of champagne in front of a largely Spanish press presence, she fielded a variety of leading questions by pointing out that in the UK young people are given a number of important messages before they set off on their holidays through a scheme called “Know before you go”. This advises youngsters to stay within their limits, look out for their friends and to watch what they’re drinking.

She also pointed out that the over 55 age group also get into difficulties when, after a few drinks, they try and do things that are more adventurous than they would attempt at home. She also pointed out that in the course of the previous evening the police had advised her that the young British visitors were not as badly behaved as some other nationalities…

In summary, it’s not just young people and not just Ibiza!

Xico Tarrés was magnanimous in his response, first pointing out how much it means to both visitors and residents to see the British government making such an investment in Ibiza. It’s also an important message to the people of Ibiza, as witnessed by their impressive press presence.

He went on to remind us all that UK tourism has been the most important over the last fifty years – in fact from the beginning of tourism here – and long may it continue…

We all left feeling suitably impressed, both by our bulldog minister and our bull of an island President.

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One Response to “British Consulate”

  1. Nick Clayton Says:

    Thanks for the support. It’s a funny old world when you get sacked by a newspaper not so much for telling the truth, but for repeating a fact that’s so well known it’s not news. Newspapers are dying because their advertising is moving to the web. Of course The Scotsman is suffering, as are all newspapers. I was fired, apparently, for repeating the fact which makes it even more difficult for them to sell adverts.

    Maybe they could stop reporting economic doom and gloom so it would all go away so we can all live happily ever after.