by Staff Reporter
THE new British Consul, Paul Abrey, told Rosa Estarás, the deputy leader of the Balearics, that he will be encouraging British residents to register with their local town councils and take on the rights and obligations attached to residency. And he will be using the pages of the Bulletin to do so. Abrey, accompanied by vice consul Esteve Mas, was received by Estarás and later by tourism minister Joan Flaquer.
He told Estaras that he wanted to be more involved with the British community here. This will include writing a fortnightly column in the Bulletin, which will be starting shortly. He will inform and advise British residents on the islands on the advantages of being on the municipal census, such as the possibility of voting in council elections or taking advantage of social services. He will also encourage them to integrate and take an active part in island society. This was the chief question covered in his talks with Estaras, while his interview with the tourist chief centred on the situation of the British market to the Balearics, after a year in which the number of visitors from the United Kingdom had dropped slightly. Esteve said that it was the holiday package tour which had dropped, because direct bookings via Internet had risen.
Abrey pointed out that for this year, sales were expected to rise between 15 and 20 per cent compared to last year.
Abrey is the youngest person to hold the post of Consul in the Balearics, and he is also the first who is not a career diplomat, coming from a background in banking. Shortly after taking office in December, he announced that the Consulate would be organising an official Queen's birthday party in June, for the first time in almost 15 years. He also said that he would like the Consulate to play a greater role in local affairs.