Palma has recently been voted the best city to live in the world by the Sunday Times but for a growing number of people, living in Palma means living on the streets. I was shocked last weekend when I saw a mass of people sleeping out in the open next to the Plaza Patines in central Palma. I am not talking a few, I am talking dozens. It was a sobering sight. Banks have been forced to close their outer doors at night because ATM rooms have become prized assets amongst the homeless. It is a nightmare situation. But what people forget is that although Palma has one of the best standards of living in Spain, poverty is a major problem. The situation has improved slightly but there are still thousands of people living on very little or surviving on the streets. But like many problems in Spain, you don´t get the impression that the authorities are doing enough to remedy this state of affairs. Now, I know that Palma council has an excellent social services department but I am sure the council could do more to encourage local businesses and people to provide food and clothes for those in need. The previous Balearic government of Jose Ramon Bauza was always criticised by the opposition (who are now in charge in Palma) of increasing the gap between the rich and the poor. If you look around Palma at the moment, I would probably agree with them. Palma is a fantastic place but it still has its fair share of problems, and poverty is one of the top ones.
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