ALMOST 58 percent of people according to a poll conducted by the ruling Partido Popular support the Balearic government's new education policy in which parents are given the choice of either educating their children in Catalan or Castilian. This controversial policy has attracted widespread criticism but you can safely say that it was one of the reasons why the conservative Partido Popular ousted the so-called pro-Catalan rainbow coalition at the last local elections. I think it is quite a fair system especially when you take into account the large numbers of non-Majorcans who are being educated in state schools. I understand that there is a feeling locally that Catalan/Majorcan needs to be protected and promoted for the sake of the local heritage and history but I would also like to stress the importance of Castilian Spanish. The last time I was in New York I probably spoke more Spanish than English and I am talking about the East Coast of America so you can imagine what Florida and the West Coast must be like now. Castilian Spanish is going to continue to develop across the world.
The wait for residencias
I would just like to pass on a piece of information I received from a reader yesterday who said that the offices dealing with residencias/work permits in Palma are now operating a quota system of 80 people a day...no more...no less. The stupidity of the system is underlined by the fact that even though residencias are no longer needed by EU citizens most people still take them out because they need some form of identification. Back to square one and now a quota system.
40 percent growth in credit cards
THE number of people paying by credit cards in the Balearics has risen by a record 40 percent in two years. In other words the Balearics are going the same way as the rest of Europe. So get ready for those bills at the end of the month. But also have you noticed that while your ordinary mail is always mislaid your credit card statement always arrives on time? Good old Palma Post Office last with the good news first with the bad!
How lucky we are
FULL marks to the Ocimax and Renoir Cinemas who are continuing to show films in English. Most appreciated and hope we are all supporting them. See you at the box office!
MY heartfelt congratulations to all the local associations which are continuing to organise a variety of events for the English speaking community. Yesterday, members of ESRA were off to Soller on the train while Age Concern are busy touring the Majorcan countryside. Simple and inexpensive events which are proving most popular and providing a real service. I heard of one woman who has lived on Majorca for almost 30 years and has never been on the Soller train. Shame on you. There is nothing better than the Soller Intercity 125 which I am told is still faster and more modern than the trains being used on the West Coast line in the UK.