Spanish students scandal | T. AYUGA

They were counting them out (of the hotel), and they were counting them in (to the ferry). Martyred by Mallorca and by a public health system decreeing what one judge interpreted not to be proportional, youthful victims (to quote some sources, especially foreign ones) were given their reprieve. At dawn they tumbled out of the hotel and then set sail for the Spanish mainland, vowing never to return. There are voices on this island who would gladly hope that they do not - or their successors.

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Who are the martyrs who will pay for this lunacy? Calls for resignation have been made. And just who is supposed to resign and on what grounds? There are two reasons for these resignation calls - one the chaos that was unleashed in Mallorca, the other the incarceration of the victims. It probably was disproportional, but should the director for public health be thrown to the lions? Such a call misses the point, as it is the original chaos which was the heresy of public health.

This whole business raises a fundamental question for Mallorca. Does the island have a right to determine who is admitted for its tourism? I don’t see how, but it is being discussed nevertheless. A few years ago, Salou town hall pleaded to tour operators to end the spring break holidays because they tarnished the resort’s image. Plead was all the town hall could do. Destinations lie at the mercy of a market not the least bit concerned with image.