Growing racism in Palma?

Dear Sir,
Last week I was on holiday in Palma, enjoying a stroll through the shopping district with my wife. We came across a pearl shop and my wife went in to have a look. Not sharing my wife’s interest in pearls I decided to wait outside. There were no seats around and so I perched on the edge of the window sill, to one side so as not to obscure the view of potential customers.

After a while an elderly woman approached me from the street and started complaining to me in Spanish. My Spanish is not good but I think she was saying that my bottom was somehow damaging the ledge. I thought it was a bizarre complaint and considered her a busy body with nothing better to do. When she left I sat back down and forgot all about it.

A few minutes later all hell broke loose. The woman turned out to be the owner of the shop, which I hadn’t realised at the time, and she came running out followed by her husband and then my wife. She pushed me from the ledge, he went to punch me in the face but my wife, who knew they were about to attack me, grabbed him in time and he went flying sideways.

He then grabbed my wife around the throat until I managed to get him off her. It then became more verbal with racist abuse aimed at us in Spanish (my wife is Ecuadorian and speaks fluent Spanish). They were swearing and yelling at us to go back to our own country.

No police turned up and we were in total shock and eventually walked away. We are a middle-aged couple that were peacefully enjoying an afternoon of shopping but we were immediately treated like hardened lager-lout troublemakers.

My wife was actually about to buy an expensive pearl necklace at the time. We considered reporting it to the police but by then any witnesses had dispersed and there didn’t appear to be CCTV cameras recording it. It would have been our word against theirs and I suspect we would have ended up not being believed.

Having had time to reflect and get over the shock of being assaulted for simply sitting in the wrong place, I think there is a growing problem in Majorca with racist tension against tourists.

We have been going to Majorca regularly for the last 12 years and not experienced anything like this before. I’m so glad our two young boys weren’t with us at the time and witnessed the raw hatred and violence directed at us, their parents.

Surely normal people don’t go from zero to punching someone so quickly over something so trivial? It’s surprising that shop owners are prepared to put their xenophobia ahead of their business which relies so heavily on tourism.

Name withheld by request

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Mrs. Gaynor Gadd / Hace about 1 year

I live in Cala Murada, we have one road in and out......it's been totally closed off for two weeks, I have just been told. No note through our letter boxes, apologising profusely for the inconvenience!! Just a notice on the railings, directing us to Calas de Mallorca, then I assume, through towards the Porto Cristo Road, do a turn left (a very dangerous manouvre) and double back towards El Bosque. It seems it's being 'tarmaced' the first time since i have lived here.....30 years! Haven't they heard that civilised people normally do half the width of the road at a time, allowing traffic to have access to where they live? and......i haven't seen any diversion signs up guiding newcomers to the way out!! Sorry to say i am not surprised by any of this, from past experience! Yours sincerely, Gaynor Gadd.

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John / Hace about 1 year

Pride in ones regional culture is commendable. Hiding behind it to discriminate against others is despicable and defames the very culture if claims to exalt. I am proud to be a Northumbrian (whose traditional flag even bears the same red/gold coloured bars of Catalonia and Mallorca) but am also proud that my home city is a diverse multicultural and outward looking metropolis

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Theres / Hace about 1 year

Racism, yes I have experienced it here in Mallorca. At Calvia Town Hall - but it was 15 years ago. I lost the plot as the woman would only reply to me in Catalan. They had shut our bar down because a competitor had denounced us. For 6 weeks we had to close and Spanish staff could not start their contracts.

I was calmed down by the person whom came to close me down, a gentleman nearing retirement. I shouted I would go to the British Press, TV & Radio as this was clear RACISM. We had been here 15 years already and employed 35 Fijo staff.

Interestingly the next morning the same gentleman came down and said that we could open - he took me to one side and said that he was not racist and was retiring shortly but would deny if I told anyone - he said that "they had no right to close you down, they only did it because we were English".

So racism does exist in a very large way on the island. This Catalan obsession needs to change.

+1-

Majorca lover / Hace about 1 year

Perhaps the woman owner was incensed that a holiday maker totally disregarded her request to move from her property and he repeated the affront as if he had more rights than her. Arrogance perhaps was her view. Violence is never the answer though and it is abhorrent to me.

+2-

Larry HENSON / Hace about 1 year

Perhaps you should have not sat on the window ledge obscuring their wares and having the potential to cause damage?

+3-

S. / Hace about 1 year

The Owners of that Shop, should be reported. Their actions were not only racist, but Common Assault. The Guardia should be informed, and the Owners denounced and taken to Court, for their abhorrent disgraceful action. To be prevented from any further business trading/ownership/rental, would be part of their punishment, along with a large Fine.

+2-

TG / Hace about 1 year

A truly frightening and unpleasant incident. The shop owner should be ashamed. She does not represent Mallorcan commercial values.

+1-