by Jason Moore

I continue to be rather baffled about the recession in the Balearics. Last week it was revealed that there are 180'000 people without a job in the islands. A nightmare situation if you consider that the population just stands at one million. But why is it then that restaurants are packed, super-markets are booming and Palma continues to welcome some of the most expensive and up-market stores in the world? What is clear is that Majorca has a vibrant “black economy.” People are working but it is cash in hand and the authorities are not informed. This has always been the case in Spain but the recession has led to boom in “cash in hand jobs. ” It is illegal and also rather unfair when you consider that those who are in legal employment have to foot the bill. If you walk up any high street in Britain you do get the impression that times are hard; there are plenty of empty shop fronts. But in Palma, a store closes down and within days another opens. So what is the true economic picture? The Balearic economy has been battered by the recession and there is a serious unemployment problem. But perhaps it is not as bad as the official figures say. Also, Majorca has been shielded from the worse of the recession. There are no big manufacturing plants and the service sector rules. The local economy is still suffering and badly and recovery is not expected to take hold until next year. But Balearics in meltdown? I don´t think so, this island is still a rich place.