By Jason Moore

SPAIN has the rather good habit of managing to put a brave face on things and not get too carried away with all the bad news. If you walked around Palma you wouldn´t really know that Spain was in the midst of one of its worst recessions of recent times.

Well, I thought this until this week. On Thursday afternoon I had a walk around Palma, it was raining and it was a rather bleak afternoon. The always busy Jaime III was empty.

Shops were offering major discounts but there were no takers. I continued my stroll down to the Borne and I was rather amazed to see staff just standing outside their shops and watching the world go by. I am not talking expensive boutiques but ordinary stores from tobacconists to bakers. It was rather a depressing sight. No tourists, and few residents. Okay, it is January and it was raining but not even major discounts are prompting out the shoppers. Times are very hard in Majorca at the moment and record unemployment is obviously not helping things. It must be very difficult for small traders to survive. While, Majorcans can put a brave face on many things there is no disguising the serious recession in the Balearics. This year is going to be a crunch year and for the sake of many shopkeepers and many others I hope recovery comes soon.

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