The Euro Increased Exchange
Dear Sir,
The Euro Exchange increase is welcome. But for how long? It means that those purchasing property, will get a lower exchange price cost. But again, current residents will remember being caught, by the world economic decline. The large drop in the euro exchange rate. There are many who still can not sell their property. How long will this Sterling improvement continue? Could prospective purchasers be caught all over again. If the UK withdraws from the EU. What will happen to the exchange rate, as a result of UK Independence?
The DB ‘s information on UK matters is most welcome. The cost of 1 Euro, or free at  Tourist Information Offices, is good for tourists. So your correspondent “Steve--Palmanova” yesterday, suggests using UK newspapers. The cost of purchasing a UK newspaper is high. Even higher on Sundays. For example, The Sun costs 2.50 Euros, during the week. When UK newspapers were printed in UK, and transported to the island; I understood their increased cost. Now, they use the Internet, and are printed in Palma. Why the continuing high cost? Tourists read them on the racks, but they will not pay those high prices.
 Most UK or English speaking residents obtain SKY television, illegally. Again, constant rolling news is available from most UK TV channels. The companies supplying these TV facilities are enjoying good business, especially when signals are lost/changed.
I enjoy reading the DB, especially as it continues to bring me up to date, on all matters concerning Majorca.
Recently, articles on Flight costs and the lack of flights during the bleak winter months has dominated the letters and articles pages. “The DB’s Campaign”- to improve flights and attractions for winter tourism is most welcome. Please continue your vigorous campaigning. I was astonished to see the number of flights to Barcelona and Madrid during the day and night. They are in blocks of 4 or 5 flights together, around every 2 hours, and effected by several different carriers. Surely one, or more, of these Spain’s low cost carriers, could fly to and from UK, especially Scotland and the North East of UK.
There are Speed Cameras in various parts of the island, and there is a map showing their location. I can not find this map. Also, I note that these cameras do not have speed limit warning signs. What is the speed limit? Surely it is illegal to trap drivers, with no warning of camera usage, and no sign indication of what speed limit is in force on those roads.
Immigration, is a cause for concern for most of Europe. Freedom to move around, to find work, is the main reason for most immigrants. My great concern is terrorism. I feel much tighter regulations are needed throughout Europe, to prevent terrorist actions. There is a strong possibility for the Terrorist Group known as “ IS”, infiltrating European Countries through poorly controlled immigration. I sincerely hope that the Authorities concerned for Security in Majorca , are taking fast, strong deterrents, to prevent any IS terrorism occurring on the island.
Yours faithfully,

Sa Coma (Still not Open)

Open letter to the Scottish Parliament
Dear Sir,
Like many Scots my family have owned a small apartment in Majorca for over 30 years. The Scots tend to congregate in the south west of the island particularly Santa Ponsa. There are three large apartment blocks in the area Mimosa, Andea Bella and the Jardins which are principally owned by Scottish people to the extent that the AGM for these buildings used to be held in Glasgow. Santa Ponsa has also featured strongly in the TV sitcom still game which emphasises the Scots commitment to Santa Ponsa. I personally have a Spanish friend whose father is Majorcan and his mother is Scottish. He wished to bring a large party of Spanish guests from Majorca to attend his wedding in Scotland. The party had great difficulty in getting here as they had to fly via London.
There is also one Spanish gentleman who runs a chain of restaurants in Scotland and Majorca and he now has great difficulty getting to Scotland
Majorca was well served with winter flights and holidays in previous years from Scotland but now it is impossible to get a direct flight.
I can get a flight and holiday very easily to Portugal, Malaga, Alicante, Barcelona, Nice, New York and Dubai yet there are no winter flights to Majorca.
Going back ten years we had regular flights from Britannia and Globespan. These came to an end in approximately 2011. The following year easyJet started a regular flight from Glasgow twice a week and this flight was very busy but came to an end 18 months later and now Scotland is once again isolated. It appears that the airlines wish to cherry pick the lucrative routes at the peak of the high season and provide no service in the winter. There would appear to be a great opportunity to visit Scotland to promote our cities during the winter months and persuade the airlines to sell city breaks in both Scotland and Majorca. It is ironic that the Scottish Government owns an airport and they are desperate to increase flights from that airport and Scottish people want to fly to Majorca yet we are isolated.
I am part of a group of people who are involved with a campaign to promote winter flights to and from Scotland. This has generated a lot of publicity in the Majorcan and British Press. I was in Majorca recently for a week and have enclosed copies of the newspapers relating to the ongoing campaign. I have also enclosed 22 pages of e mails from hundreds of e mails that have been sent to the local press.
Regards ,
Ian Rice

Dear Sir,
In Wednesday’s Daily B the book page reviews “The Old Boys” subtitled “The Decline and Rise of the Public School”. Not all readers will know but due to the vagaries of the English language Public Schools are not public, like state funded schools, but private funded principally by parents forgoing the free secondary education provided for all by Rab Butler’s 1944 Education Act which also raised the school leaving age from 14.
As reviewer Ray Fleming notes they have a disproportionate effect on the upper echelons of all branches of our society often referred to as the Establishment. He gives many cogent examples, here’s one more - while educating only 7% of school children they provide some 50% of University students. These pupils attend schools which have the best teachers, lowest class  size, major subject range and first rate facilities be they libraries, laboratories, sport, music and the arts etc.
Perhaps the greatest advantage is that the students are above average, not perhaps PC to say but evident from their above average parents driving their children forward despite the cost.
The review calls for fully equipping state schools. The £30,000/year quoted is off the scale when comparing state schools at £5000.
 The investment gap is prohibitive and actual progress is glacial. Last month the Open Public Service Network (OPSN) reported that up to 1/3rd of state secondary schools do not offer teaching in any foreign languages. Little has changed since my school days.
Lack of Latin blocked access to Oxbridge, lack of a modern language blocked access to all other then Universities (sometimes referred to as the Russell Group – more disparagingly as Red Brick). Without any foreign languages only technical colleges remained and they were prohibited from awarding degrees but only an inferior certificate.
Things may now be worse as the same lack of teaching in the poorest areas of England is being shown in the Triple Sciences (Physics, Chemistry, Biology). Where will our ordinary doctors, engineers, vets, chemists etc., come from?
Apparently we are already short of home grown professionals in these subjects – this may be one reason. With their unrivalled range of Old Boy contacts (another major  pay off on the educational investment) links to top of most professions is ensured to benefit their career progression beyond basic levels.
Like Ray I believe it would be wrong to do away with them, if nothing else we should maintain them as a distant target for state schools but the latest reports from OPSN are more than depressing. This inequality has been operating not for decades but centuries, not starting from 1382 with Winchester but since 597 with Kings Canterbury. In case anyone thinks I am a lefty - I’m an Old Etonian.
Possibly due to me second class teaching spelling was always a weakness, my school was Heaton Grammar, Newcastle – but who quibbles over a dropped H?

Mike Lillico
Playa de Palma