WHAT has always rather amazed me about the recent alleged politicial corruption cases in Majorca is why the suspects, in some cases senior politicians, are arrested and led away handcuffed in full view of the media. Now, I am sure that most of these people would happily go to the police station or the courts and make a statement. The latest incident involves a senior politician, an Olympic Gold Medallist and businesspeople who were involved in the construction of the Palma arena velodrome.
A judge at the moment is deciding whether or not there was any wrong-doing in this case and whether or not public funds were miss-spent and various alleged back-handers made. Now, all the suspects were kept in custody for 72 hours and then taken to court in pairs handcuffed together by their right hands. This was a very unusual step, usually reserved for hardened criminals or terror suspects. Naturally, the whole scene was played out infront of the cameras. The Partido Popular has complained and has slammed the treatment their members received. The case has even gone to Madrid. These days newspapers are obliged to smudge the faces of police officers in photographs so that they can not be identified and it is quite usual to do the same with most suspects who are pending trial. In some cases suspects are smuggled into the court-room through a back door so that they are not seen by the waiting cameramen and photographers. Why was this not done with the suspects in the Palma Arena case? This is what the Partido Popular wants to know and I do believe they have a point. All suspects should be treated the same. If and when they are convicted then it is a different story but until then their rights should be respected.
THEY used to joke that the Palma surburb of Son Gotleu was so rough even the cats had to learn karate but unfortunately this part of Palma has become an important racial flashpoint. Earlier this month a pitched battle broke out between the area´s gypsy and Nigerian communities which led to a number of injuries and arrests. Now the Son Gotleu´s residents association is calling for the police to crackdown on illegal immigration and has slammed the city council for giving the Nigerian community grants so that they can integrate into the community. The city council has tried to defuse the situation, unsuccessfully and the residents are organising a protest march next month. At a time of record unemployment in Spain the local authorities should be doing more to tackle the issue of illegal immigration. It is already becoming a major problem and if it is not tackled soon I can see the problem spreading to other areas of Majorca.
IT is becoming clear that the outbreaks of swine fever and the terrorists attacks in Majorca have hit tourism. This is no surprise to anyone and what the local authorities have learnt once again is that whatever happens in Majorca is front-page news in Britain and Germany the next-day. I would say that one of the biggest problems is that the Balearics is unable to get its message across in Britain and Germany. It's all very well keeping the local media informed but in peak summer months local authorities should be getting their message across in Britain and Germany. If a local government official had toured the studios of British and German news channels within hours of the terrorist attacks the situation could have been very different.