by Andrew Ede

Y OU would have thought that the complaints would have stopped. Having seen the back of the old mayor, the source of much of the discontent, the businesses of Puerto Pollensa still aren't content. New town hall boss, same as the old town hall boss. Or something like that.

There is always something to complain about in Puerto Pollensa. Over the past few months we have had streets being dug up and the renewal of utilities in the square dragging on longer than they should have, the beach management fiasco and now we have overflowing litter bins, lack of parking and a twice-weekly mini-market.

To make matters worse, or so it is being said, the port is being allowed to go to the dogs (and usually to their output) and is coming in a poor second, third or fourth behind other resorts in the north of the island. While this jockeying for the minor places suggests that comparisons are being made with Muro and Can Picafort, it is really only a comparison with the immediate neighbour Alcúdia, for years looked down upon as though it were something unpleasant on the sole of a well-heeled Pollensan shoe. It's a bit hard to continue to do so when you've just stepped in something unpleasant left under a pine tree on Puerto Pollensa's walk of pines.

The comparison with Alcúdia is worth entertaining not because of which resort might be “number one” but because of the nature of the complaining. Puerto Pollensa does this, complaining, very much better than anywhere else. It has more moaners per square metre than any place in Majorca.

Complaint has perpetuated complaint to the point where the complaining has become almost institutionalised and complaining for the sake of complaining. This is not to let the town hall off the hook, especially not the previous administration, but the new one has yet to complete its first hundred days in office. It should be given a break.

The lack of parking now being complained about is nothing new. Notwithstanding talk of an area on the edge of the resort being made available for parking, quite how the town hall is supposed to suddenly magic up whole parking lots is something of a mystery. The additional mini-markets were in fact requested by local restaurants as a way of creating some ambience, even if shops aren't too enamoured of them. The overflowing litter bins? Well, maybe there is a point with this, but the mayor, somewhat mischievously avoiding the criticism, has said that these are evidence of a flourishing resort with hotels also overflowing.

The businesses to the fore in this current round of complaining have dragged in the president of Acotur, the tourist businesses' association. He has been a busy chap, and his busyness needs to be considered by those who might feel that Alcúdia is a total paragon of tourism resort virtue and who might also overlook the fact that Alcúdia is two distinct resorts - the port and the Mile.

He met recently with Alcúdia's lady mayor along with businesses around the Mile. The complaints here are of a different order to those in Puerto Pollensa: all-inclusives, the proliferation of lookies and illegal street selling, robberies and lack of maintenance. The main thing to come out of the meeting with the mayor was that the bridge along the Mile will be painted for the first time in a generation.

While the complaints were different to those in Puerto Pollensa, there is a further difference to the complaining: Alcúdia's isn't organised. It's not as if there haven't been things to complain about, but there is nothing like the well-oiled propaganda machine that exists in Pollensa and which regularly fills column inches in the local press.

The greatest single problem for businesses in Alcúdia, especially for those around the Mile, is that of all-inclusives; it is a far greater problem than any of those experienced in Puerto Pollensa. But even a proposed day of action in September when businesses would close in protest at the impact of all-inclusive probably won't happen because of the absence of organisation and the presence of self-interest and indifference.

The latest complaining in Puerto Pollensa smacks of casting around for something to blame on behalf of some businesses which might not be benefiting from the mayor's overflowing hotels. It might also be better to keep the complaining powder dry. With the town halls in such dire financial situations, the complaining will be matched by the despairing and a general wailing and gnashing of businesses' teeth. You ain't heard nothing yet.


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