Dear Sir, your Guest Columnist – Graham Phillips – in Sunday's issue has written an excellent article regarding Palma and put forward a good number of suggestions showing a great deal of thought to the way in which the quality of city life can be improved for residents and visitors alike.

However further investigation would indicate that not only Palma is affected. A clean sweep is needed. I took a walk in the city and it is dirty, very dirty and very little appears to be taking place to rectify the situation despite recent protests in both local Spanish papers and of course your own.

A short drive out to other localities would also reveal similar problems.
It is of course laughable that the tourists should be blamed and only indicative of the myopic attitudes of so many of the “Funcionarios” that seem to be as high in number as the litter bugs and seem to possess a similar level of intelligence.

A lot of the litter appears in areas hardly frequented by tourists and despite the views that I have previously stated regarding certain types of tourists, it stretches the imagination to believe that they would produce anywhere near the amount of debris seen in the streets or be interested in spray painting all sorts of public buildings, bridges over motorways etc as part of their holiday activities.

No – this is created by local persons and it to those that the blame must be placed – evidence of this took place recently in Santa Ponsa. On a recent Sunday morning, the Volunteers of Calvia cleaned up the Zona Verde – an immense amount of rubbish was collected by these hard working individuals most of it left during the summer by picnickers NOT tourists – who even contrary to regulations, light fires, etc – the police appear to be powerless – in imposing the law. A day in the country fine – but respect for the environment is last on their list – on departing all rubbish is left to blow around in the breeze .

Apart from this various workers use it as a rubbish tip for their lunchtime leftovers, the odd van has turned up and tipped assorted washing machines, fridges etc and – Oh, yes – even a dumped lorry – hardly an item a tourist would bring with them – all of which have had to be removed – at cost to the local Council and in turn the residents of the area. I would point out that a number of containers for rubbish are very close by and the Council provides a service to collect household items.

Why? – Why does this happen? Because to control this you need to inform people! It can be done positively or negatively – the latter is to try and impose fines – this is too late. The better way is to teach people not to treat the world as one big rubbish tip.

In schools and at work is the best place to start – it's called “Taking a Pride in One's Country” something the Mallorquins are very strong on – or so they would have us believe – so if the Minister of the Environment – one Mr Matas can stop harrasing Mr. Antich and actually take on board something positive, he should implement an initiative to educate people to respect their environment. Then maybe if the “Funcionarios” can be made to put it into action we would have a cleaner and tidier island which would then not only be healthier to live in but more acceptable to visitors – who possess that ancient right of voting with their feet!!

Yours Alan Morris


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