Beach bars in Salines, Ibiza not in acute danger

July 7th, 2009 - 2:46 pm Posted in ibiza, salinas | Comments (0)

The beach restaurants located within the Ses Salines Nature Preserve on the south coast of Ibiza will not be demolished at the moment. “The operating company of the Chiringuitos, Ibifor, is using every legal means to keep their beach establishments open,” said the head of the Coastal Authority on the Balearic Islands, Celestí Alomar, “which they have every right to do.” With this statement he countered rumours that Madrid’s Ministry of the Environment had already ordered the removal of the Chiringuitos. Mr. Alomar went further and also stated, “As long as this is working its way through the legal process we have no legal standing to remove these establishments.” Additionally, Ibifor has applied for a concession for a period of 60 years.

salinas, ibizaHowever, Mr. Alomar made it clear that the Chiringuitos are a thorn in the side of the Coastal Authority. This is for two reasons. “For one, they are located in the middle of the dunes, which we must protect.” The second reason is that the operators have still not adequately proven that they have the appropriate business licenses and approvals. “They have to prove that after the changes to the coastal laws in 1988 they received the appropriate operating licenses,” said Mr. Alomar.

He appealed to the Balearic Islands Ministry of the Environment, the nature reserve’s management and Ibifor to work together to find a “global solution to the problems”. Mr. Alomar cannot say for certain if, in the end, the six establishments on the beaches of ses Salines and es Cavallets will have to be removed. However, he did say, “But there are studies that show removal would be in the best interests of protecting the dunes.”

In this context he also pointed out the origins of the Chiringuitos. Until 1988 they were simple beach shacks by the sea. However, due to the change in the coastal law they were required by the authorities to move their wooden structures at least six further metres from the water line. Mr. Alomar continued, “The operators used this to convert their small beach shacks into much larger beach restaurants.”

Currently on the Balearic Islands there are only three of 107 Chiringuitos close to the beaches that seriously need to worry about their continued existence. “And all three are on Mallorca,” said Mr. Alomar. A further point to clear up is that the Spanish coastal law allows no private ownership on public property. This means that these six beach establishments in the Ses Salines Nature Preserve are, legally speaking, no longer the property of Ibifor but actually belong to the Spanish state.

One aspect of all of this that should not be forgotten is the fact that these beach bars represent an important attraction for island holidaymakers. They provide some of the unique flair of Ibiza and Formentera.

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