It is often said, and quite rightly so, that Majorca is a paradise island with a high standard of living and economic growth which is well above the Spanish and European average. But there are problems in paradise. An estimated 77,000 people, almost 10 per cent of the population, admit that they have problems paying their bills every month, and poverty is still a big problem on this island. The Balearic government has got the message: it is calling on industry to pass on the benefits of record economic growth to their employees.

The cost of living in Majorca is high, some would say very high, and it could be said that the prices charged in Palma are similar to those in Madrid and Barcelona. Paradise comes at a cost. The Balearic government could perhaps consider devoting some of the money from the controversial tourist tax to those who are in need in Majorca, especially those living in poverty.

It is quite an alarming sight when you see the long queue at the main soap kitchen in the Plaza España. It must be remembered that Spain still has one of the highest rates of unemployment of any country in the European Union. The local economy is booming but the jobless rate is still close to the 20 per cent mark. The central administration in Madrid has delivered (partly) on its pledge to create more new jobs. But there is still plenty of work to be done. Majorca is a paradise but like everywhere it has its problems.