by Humphrey Carter

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has been hailed at home and abroad as a man with his feet firmly on the ground and one not to panic. However, over the past few days, he has shown signs of nerves.

Just ten days after announcing his first budget, which was full of cuts, he then used Monday's Bank Holiday to slip in another late night wave of ten billion euros worth of cuts to health and education.

Did someone forget to include that in the initial budget or are things here in Spain worse than the government is admitting to the general public but as dire as foreign economists are warning?

And, on top of that, amongst all the other money raising schemes, airport taxes are going to be hiked much to the anger of the tourism, commerce and airline sectors.

A report released yesterday claims that an increase in airport taxes in Palma will lead to the loss of nearly 300'000 passengers this year and that means a serious shortfall in income for the tourist industry which is what Spain, and in particular regions like the Balearics, live off.

At a national level, the country could lose 2.87 million air passengers and that will translate into a loss of over 1.636 million euros this year, according to the Spanish body for tourism excellence, Exceltur.

Rajoy was certainly right. At this rate, things are going to get much worse before they start getting better.


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