The Soller train has been forced to withdraw a discount for residents following a complaint from a German tourist who said that it was discriminatory. It is an interesting point. Should residents, who pay their taxes here and are likely to use the service more, get special treatment? Well, to be perfectly honest, I would say no. In other words we should all be equal. But there are discounts which could also be judged to be discriminatory across the island. Residents of the island get discounted air and sea travel across the islands and to the mainland, but you have to show you live on the island. Can you imagine if this discount was given to all, tourists included? It would mean that demand would rise sharply but of course the Spanish government would be unable to subsidise everyone. So it is an interesting point.

Now, I thought that under European Union law, citizens from member countries were meant to be equal across all EU states. But as we know this is not the case. I would say that if you are a citizen from any EU country you should get the same treatment as local residents, otherwise it is completely pointless talking about a European Union of equals. I would also urge the EU to try and outlaw any discount which could be found to be discriminatory. What you can't have is a two-tariff system for residents and non-residents. Everyone should pay the same because it is far simpler and causes fewer problems.