MAJORCAN cabbies claim they are experiencing one of the worst summers ever, even worse than last year.
The claim was made yesterday by Gabriel Moragues, chairman of the self-employed taxi drivers association of Majorca.
He attributed the situation to the low spending power of visitors and the spread of the all inclusive holidays.
This type of holiday means many tourists spend the entire day in the hotel, as everything from icecream for the children to entertainment has been paid for in advance before the tourist leaves his home country.
Moragues said that the start of the tourist season had been very negative for the cabbies, and he put the blame on the all inclusive holidays. The situation is causing us concern because of the current economic crisis, and it is particularly worrying to many groups, such as us, who need the summer to earn enough to see us through the winter, he said.
Moragues warned the Balearic government that by opting to expand the all inclusive offer in Balearic hotels it could be creating a very serious problem for the Balearic economy. He called on the government to draw up a viability plan to promote the complementary offer (bars, restaurants, clubs, etc) in the islands.
The poor start to the season is just one of the problems affecting cabbies, who have also been hit by the increase in the price of oil.
Several months ago, they warned that the increase in prices would force them to raise fares by five percent next year.
The cabbies are also involved in an internal dispute, in which drivers from Palma have been accused of picking up fares in other municipalities, despite regulations banning this.
Earlier this month, this lead to clashes between Andraitx and Palma cabbies in Andraitx.
Growing insecurity is also causing concern and has lead to more and more cabbies fitting protective screens into their vehicles.
This year, at least 100 Palma cabs will be fitted with these screens, thanks to a 40 percent subsidy from the Balearic government and the city council.