Photograph of the week

It was the third warmest December this century.

13-01-2020plozano

Freight cost silence

The confederation and other business sources were earlier in the week issuing warnings about the impact of the increased cost of ships’ fuel and therefore the cost of freight and prices in the shops. Retailers’ associations were suggesting that there could be job losses.

It was still a bit of mystery as to why the issue of the increased cost of fuel doesn’t seem to have been a much bigger one than, on the face of it, it is. The government, for one, has had little or nothing to say on the matter. Curious.

Road investment

Another of the reactions to the investiture was a Parotid Popular demand that the Spanish government hands over 237 million Eurasia owed to the Balearics in respect of a long-ago agreement for road investment. A point about this outstanding investment, however, was what might now be done with it, given the opposition to more road-building. There was a reminder of this when activists against the Campos-Llucmajor dual carriageway presented a “Scalextric” model of the road as a Three Kings gift for the government.

Confidence in Sánchez

The investiture of Pedro Sánchez prompted some to-have-been-anticipated reaction in Majorca. Top among the reactions was the regional government’s confidence that regional needs will now be attended to and met with satisfactory new arrangements. By this, President Armengol and others were referring to improved financing and the REB special economic regime.

As the president has been speaking of little else for several years, this was nothing new. But with any luck, the Sánchez administration will indeed attend to matters and sort them out pronto. Business was making much the same noises. The Confederation of Balearic Business Associations didn’t appear to have any great concern about Podemos being in the national government. The confederation was in fact satisfied that there may now be some political stability, while the fact that the make-up of the national and regional governments is now similar seemed to be a positive. It was more concerned about financing and economic regime deals.

The cost to rent

The new government is expected to make housing a priority, with aspects of this likely to be attempts to cap the cost to rent and to limit the holiday rentals market. With this in mind, there was a thought-provoking report about the latest study of rents by the property website Idealista. Its head of studies made the point that Balearic legislative policies seem to have had the opposite effect to what the government desired.

The cost to rent has gone up, with owners reducing the amount of available properties. “This, therefore, leads to increases in price.” The website was therefore warning that penalising the rental market can be counterproductive.

Magalluf’s excesses

Magalluf made an unseasonal return to the news. The Acotur tourist businesses association and the ABONE association of nightlife businesses were demanding that regulations are enforced in order to stamp out so-called tourism of excesses.

This was also somewhat curious, if one accepts Calvia town hall’s announcements regarding its efforts to tackle excesses. There again, not everyone does accept these announcements. Meanwhile of course, we await the government’s Magalluf-specific decree law designed to stamp out these excesses.

Warm and cold

It was the third warmest December this century, Aemet reported. Together with the early winter weather, the warmer than normal autumn had led to the almond blossom flowering earlier than usual.

A spectacular and beautiful sight in Majorca, the blossom doesn’t typically emerge until the end of January. For all the warm weather, though, there was a sudden blip caused by a cold front coming in from the mainland.

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