Have you noticed that there is a distinct lack of festive atmosphere around Majorca this year? Bar the Christmas lights, which are first class, there is no real festive cheer in the centre of Palma. Some shops appear to have forgotten that it is "the season to be jolly" and a Christmas tree here or there or even a festive decoration wouldn't go amiss in some shops.

I must admit that central Palma appears unusually quiet for this time of the year. Perhaps it could be the arrival of the new out-of-town shopping centres, but I was quite shocked the other night to see that many of the central Palma streets were empty even though we are in the middle of the Christmas party season. What is going on? We have been told that the local economy is in fine shape and the recession is a distant memory. But people have long memories. They still remember the bad old days of the recession, and I get the impression that Majorcans are saving rather than spending.

Many of the shops in central Palma make most of their money from tourism in the peak summer months. But as there is little tourism about at this time of the year then we get empty streets. As I mentioned in this space earlier this week, shops have been forced to discount items quite heavily and, believe it or not, there are many bargains to be found. So, it is a quiet Christmas this year in Palma. Perhaps the big rush will come nearer to the weekend, but so far there is not much festive spending joy about.

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Richard Pearson / Hace over 4 years

"We have been told that the local economy is in fine shape". Yes Jason, you have. "They still remember the bad old days of the recession". Who are "they" ? . Obviously not you with two guaranteed 12 months income.

+4-

Andy Rawson / Hace over 4 years

There is not much money about. Which is not surprising since the powers that be see to it that the island closes for half the year.

+2-