Dear Sir, It is inevitable, as night follows day, that David Lee will respond to anyone who refutes his argument, by repeating most of the points he produces in his original letter. I will not regulate them here, except to say, that his ploy of emphasising great numbers of billions of Pounds , mean absolutely nothing at least to the majority of readers. They are mere figures in a ledger, and his talk of printing money, quantitative easing, as it is euphemistically known, has been a tool used by all the countries that constitute the biggest economies, including the U.S.A., Germany, France, Japan etc. I realise, of course, that these “Debits” will have to be paid , one day, but like ostriches, heads are buried in very deep sand. As far as the British economy is concerned, look around you, Mr Lee, and you will observe some of the FIVE MILLION Britons holidaying on the island, each year, Skint? Rubbish! But, back to Mr Lees' main moan on Royal expenses, he still does not accept that these ‘petty' (relative), are more than paid for by the vast numbers of tourists who flock to Britain to enjoy the four great mansions, Buckingham Palace (Yes, Mr Lee-its 300 rooms and 75 bathrooms!), Sandringham, Windsor, and Balmoral. As I emphasised in my reply to Mr Lee's letter, no other country can match the splendid array of Royal artifacts, such as the Crown Jewels that are bequeathed to the nation, in that other grand edifice, The Tower of London.

You say, Mr Lee that you are not anti-monarchist, but your sentiments show that you propose to hedge the Royal family with various restrictions even to the use of aircraft, the payment “out of their pockets” of petty expenses and other demeaning and childish rules. I repeat once more, that the amount garnered from America alone, amounts to 500 millions of pounds in tourism directly linked to the Royal family , TEN TIMES the expense, Mr Lee, that you say the Civil list spends. I hope this finally percolates to your mind.

Yours Sincerely
Phil Green
El Toro

The purpose of MEP's
Dear Sir, Humphrey Carter in a recent leader asked what readers might regard as the role of MEP's. A very good question. It seems to me that their existence is one of pure fabrication by the Eurocrats in Brussels in trying to forge some level of democratic transparency to the workings of the European Parliament in Strasbourg. But surely this is yet another misconception by the ideologues in the Commission who have no handle on what democracy, and electoral representation, is about. Just look at former national referendums which were overturned by the EU to make sure the Eurocrats got their way. Taking the UK, for example, there are MEP's who represent vast constituencies of the country with millions of voters in each one, and who cannot possibly be able to know what people in the street are actually thinking about EU issues. I doubt very few letters are sent to MEP's. Furthermore, taking the case of the MEP for Norfolk, recently on the island to meet members of EporE, it was obvious that these individuals can only serve in a capacity to work on EU committees determined by their expertise on matters relating to generic issues – agricultural, social benefits, environment, human rights and trade – and certainly not to further the interests of individual constituents. So why do we need them at all?

Taking another perspective, when considering MEP's from other member states, would any of them know where Norfolk is, far less what the local populace there might consider important? Trying to pretend that having MEP's is democratic is nonsense, a mere sop to the electorate.

It is a joke, like most of the social and environmental clap trap we hear from the EU. And the cost to the British taxpayer is now getting out of hand, up 10 percent in the last year, no doubt thanks to the intransigence of the French in demanding ever higher subsidies for its uneconomic agriculture and state ridden economy.

The European parliament should be abolished and its powers returned to nation states. It is only there that true representation can flourish. The alternative is a loose federation which concentrates on trade and industry – the original objects of the EEC – to deal with wealth creation, competition and freeing up businesses to grow, rather than on so many irrelevant, counterproductive and misguided policies which have continued to pauperise most of the Continent. Whatever Monsieur Hollande might say, he is utterly wrong to suggest that the EU doesn't require an overhaul. The sooner there are changes the better.

Yours faithfully
Andrew Ferguson
Palma

Summer building work
Dear Sir, Re: the article by Humphrey Carter - I think he is right to assume that the law has been quietly changed. We have our family holiday home on the other side of Puerto Andraitx in Cala Llamp and since 1 July our neighbours (just a few metres from our garden and swimming pool) have been allowed to carry out major construction of a piscina and terracing. The construction workers use cement mixers, electric cutters and grinders, etc. They take delivery of materials every day which are swung over our garden and down onto their working area by a mobile crane and the whole operation takes up to 1 hour and is less than quiet.

I had some small success in stopping proceedings this weekend as they were working during a local Fiesta and the Police managed to stop work for the weekend - Bliss..............

I have been told by our property managers that due to the recession and decline in the construction industry the rules have either been changed or relaxed to allow working during the summer months and is being controlled by a decibel limit. However, it appears that the Town Hall don't possess a decibel metre. What a surprise.

The owner of the property assured me during mid June that work would only be carried out from 8am until 12 noon and would be quiet with minimal noise. Since l July they have worked from 8/8.30 am until 5/5.30 pm every day and half day on Saturday. I fully sympathise with our fellow residents in Montport, but it appears we can do nothing about this problem.

Sincerely, Anne Eckford

Summer Building Work in
Montport , Puerto Andraitx
Dear Sir, I read with interest your article today in the Bulletin regarding the building work still continuing in Montport in the Puerto Andraitx . We have lived in hell for the past month. We arrived for our usual holiday on the 6 July and found a massive 5 house building project starting just 200m from our house. There are 3 large rock peckers working all day with lorries and diggers. We feel the vibrations through the whole of our property, even in the swimming pool. Added to this, the house right next door has a license to refurbish but has mostly demolished the house, used peckers and diggers and this is just 10 metres from our pool. It has been absolutely deafening and a real misery. The work starts at 8 am and does not finish until 7 pm. We have had to employ extra cleaners and pool technicians to try and ease the absolute mess around. We have had to fetch the police on one occasion - the builders next door do not stop at 1 pm on Saturday unless we threaten them with police action.

Our pool has turned green for the third time due to the terrible dust and as we have children and babies here, it has been a real medical concern to us. Our lawyer has been trying to deal with the local council but to absolute no avail. - the contractors apparently are ‘Gods to be appeased.

We had visitors with us from the UK, Dubai and Shanghai and it has been a total embarrassment to us. They had intended to spend a long time and money here in Majorca but have now had to leave because of the hell that exists at the top of the hill. It is ironic that an article in the Bulletin last week said that the government wished to attract large spending people from Dubai and China to the island. Our visitors said they would never come back and would not advise anyone in their countries to do so. We had told them that no building work was allowed in July and August. Our other guests have also cancelled their trips for September.

Do the council not realise that people will not come to an island where such little respect is shown to those who intend to invest time and money whilst here. We have decided to return to the UK next week - it is useless to try and live in this situation.

Yours sincerely
Rosemarie Simpson, Puerto Andraitx

Private Rental Accommodations
Dear Sir, Thanks to Humphrey Carter and the Chamber of Commerce for bringing this hot topic once again to the forefront. Since Madrid excluded the Urban Letting Law of 29/1994 of 24th Nov as at 4 June 2013 and at the same time confirmed the responsibility for private rental accommodations was the country's autonomous regions, what have the Balearic Islands done? Admittedly Madrid's timing was flawed in this action to do this at the very start of a summer season was crazy! I suggest we all work together on this in fact why not adopt a slogan of “Lets Work Together”. What we private rental owners need is direction from the Spanish authorities. I assume it's the tourist authorities who are going to carry out Madrid's ruling of “regulation” As a private rental owner myself I am 100% in favour of regulation which should lead to improvement of private rental accommodations. I have operated via this rental law that has now been excluded as in the past trying to obtain a rental license was a nightmare. Bearing in mind most of my family, friends and guests signed a legitimate legal Urban Lettings contract well before the 4 June date I am hopeful that our current years rentals are legal?

So can we please have direction, I am sure most professional rental owners want to register, but we need to know: 1) where and how do we register? 2) We need a schedule of the “registration Criteria” 3) we need a logical date as to when local authorities are going to introduce this which I suggest should be 1 May 2014. This then gives the authorities time to organize the mammoth task of registration, they will certainly need more staff and a “plan of action” I suggest that the authorities should create local committees to assist in this task made up of interested parties. Once owners have their local authorities criteria for registration they can start going about ensuring that they conform to the standards required, but I ask that the criteria is “Kept Simple”. I personally look forward to this new registration system and hopefully a “star” system of private quality accommodations which should lead to the creation of a “Private Rental Accommodations Directory”.

We private owners are vital to the economy of Spain, private owners rental guest spend alone is worth many many millions of euros as against the spend of guests in all inclusive hotels. Also the European public must always be given the choice of where and what type of accommodation they holiday in.

I am uncertain who is waiting for who? Are we waiting for our Balearic tourist minister to start this off? Or bearing in mind Madrid has given the OK two months ago is it now up to local authorities to “go forward” Just please don't forget to tell us what you are doing and what we have to do.

Yes by the way, I am a rental tax payer both here in Spain and the UK, along with at least another 6 annual taxes in addition to the employment of: electricians-painters-plumbers-property management- cleaners-pool maintenance- gardeners- laundry personnel- I.T. personnel, lawyers, accounts- bankers- etc etc. Yes we are indeed vital to Spain and in particular to the Balearic Islands. Yes and I would be willing to join a committee to go forward in a professional positive manner.

Roy Hall

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