DEAR SIR, RIP OFF MAJORCA – THE CULPRITS

I thoroughly endorse Jason Moore's December editorial of “Rip off Majorca” concerning the uncontrolled spiral of pricing across the board, which is having an adverse impact on both tourism and local people.

The responsibility falls directly on the greedy, businessmen who undoubtedly also have a political influence within this small Island community.

Why is it that a coffee and croissant in the centre of Madrid, the Capital City of Spain, costs less than a single coffee in Palma Majorca?
I noted the price of an oven for sale in IKEA in England, Italy and Spain. For exactly the same item in England the price was Euros 466, in Italy Euros 499 and in Majorca Euros 650! When I contacted IKEA, Palma, they stated prices were up to them as a franchise. I am awaiting an answer from IKEA in Sweden as to what their pricing policy is for their franchises. The price of a 6 Litre bottle of Lanjaron water in Al Campo is Euros 1.67 and in Carrefour Euros 1.85, both bottles carrying a 30% gratis sticker?

I could fill the whole of the Daily Bulletin with price comparisons of items from food to electrical and domestic items, which I stress, are prices not impacted by sales or special offers.

The pure and simple fact is that there is profiteering on a large scale taking place on the Island and some of my Spanish friends from the peninsula support this viewpoint.

The article that blamed the cost of the ferries as a pivotal factor in pricing on Majorca may have some limited credence, but the variance of pricing between different outlets on the Island would not entirely support this viewpoint.

Jason Moore stated in his article that there should be some form of price control introduced on the Island to protect consumers from profiteering and I agree. When I contacted the consumer council of Majorca, their response was that they did not have such regulation and businesses regulated themselves! Unfortunately, as previously stated, it would appear that there is a tenuous link between business and political interests, which would prevent such a welcome initiative being introduced.

The introduction of competition would of course resolve the issue, but again the business community decry any sort of a threat to their comfortable existence. Take for example the Chinese Emporiums, which is competition on a very small scale. These emporiums suddenly appeared, only to be met with an outcry from local businesses, which fear that the pricing strategy of these new outlets will adversely impact on their livelihoods.

This attitude is an insult to the ability of the consumer to personally decide what is value for money and what is not. If these Emporiums do not satisfy the needs of its clients, then they will go out of business.

Moreover, it is the Governments' duty, in line with EEC guidelines, to ensure that the consumers have a freedom of choice at a fair price. This lack of impetus, particularly during an economic crisis, does not bode well for either the local people or the Islands' economic based tourism
If Government ignores the rights of the voters to a free choice, and the business community also deny the people these rights, where will it end?

Gerry M.

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