By Ray Fleming
History may not often be made on Majorca but editor Jason Moore pointed out in a Viewpoint that the forthcoming court appearance of the Infanta Cristina, the youngest daughter of King Juan Carlos, would be the first time in recent Spanish history that a member of the Royal Family has gone before a
judge: “The eyes of the world are going to be on the Palma court house in March where history will be made.”
In a fast-moving situation the Bulletin’s headlines told the story on a daily basis: “Crunch weekend for the Princess”: “Princess decides not to appeal a court summons to testify in Palma”; “An earlier court day for Spanish Princess in Palma”; “Security to be at a premium”; “Princess runs out or time”; “War of words over Princess.”
The decision by the Bay Entertainers that this year’s show in February will be their last (mentioned on this page last week) drew tributes from near and far.
Calvia’s Councillor Angie Guerrero wrote in her Bulletin column about the pleasure the company has brought to audiences for many years, and concluded with these words: “I want to congratulate the Bays on being who they are and on doing what they do. I want to ask them to reconsider...but most of all I want to say the biggest and most heartfelt THANK YOU ever. From
all of us.”
From Albert Day, President of the Ripon Amateur Operatic Society in North Yorkshire, came this: I read with considerable sadness that “The Bays” will be no more after February.
Graham Wesson, Martin MacEwan (and their colleagues) did so much on many levels for the island community and beyond...I am well aware that the Bays gave several choirs and groups a warm welcome: Ripon Amateur Operatic Society was one such and even now, seventeen years later, any mention of our Majorca Tour is guaranteed to recall the happiest of memories of camaraderie and fun. Bays, well done!”
Sangria and Jamon
The European Union’s “red tape” interventions are seldom popular but a new directive controlling the content and naming of the popular drink “sangria” and restricting it to Spain and Portugal got a welcome from Rosa Estaras, the Balearic’s member of the European Parliament: “This is excellent news for Spanish vineyards and the country’s wine industry as a whole,” she said, adding, “It’s also good news for consumers who will know that their sangria is genuine”.
The real thing is made from wine, lemonade, fruit and sweetener, with brandy an optional extra.
Under the new legislation any non-Iberian version of the drink will have to be labelled as an “aromatized wine-based drink”.
The Bulletin also reported on new rules introduced by the Spanish government to clarify the often confusing and sometimes misleading marketing of jamon iberico. This is one of finest hams in the world but often inferior qualities are sold on the reputation of the best.
Under new legislation the ham must come from a purebred black-hoofed indigenous “iberico” bred which has been fattened on acorns. Colour-coded quality levels have been introduced -- black for pure-bred free-range pigs starting at four thousand euros for a leg cured over seven years, red, green and white.
Shirley Roberts’ Spotlight on Soller column returned to the problem of the considerable cost of using the Soller Tunnel regularly, for instance by people on daily business or driving children to and from school, and also to the right of the people of Bunyola on the Palma side of the tunnel to be considered as regular users for their journeys into Soller.
In principle there are discounts for frequent travellers although the government has not recognised them for several years.
But the people of Bunyola nevertheless took their case to the Omdudsman of Majorca who has just ruled in their favour after a sixteen-year campaign. The government will now have to consider whether to respect the Omdudsman’s judgement, which is not binding.
As Shirley Roberts said, it is a hollow victory since the theoretical discounts are not being paid. Nonetheless the case is interesting since little is heard of the role of the Ombudsman and the extent of his powers.
Agreement has finally been reached on the return of the former Royal Yacht, Fortuna to the Balearic consortium of businessmen who funded the yacht before presenting it to King Juan Carlos in 2000.
Negotiations have been taking place with the National Heritage organisation, which is traditionally responsible for royal yachts, following the King’s announcement last year that he was giving it up.
It is expected that the consortium will put the yacht on sale and use the money raised for distribution to local charities.
The idea that the proceeds of sale might be used for a maritime museum, which Palma lacks, has apparently been dropped.
Bernard Smith, owner of a waterside bar and restaurant at Can Pastilla, has been named Toastmaster of the Year 2014 by the UK Guild of International Professional Toastmasters for his activities and support of the Guild which regularly take him to Britain for prestigious events there as well as on Majorca.
l Shoppers at Corte Ingles on the Avenidas have been impressed by a ten-by-two metres panoramic painting of Palma on show there. It is the work of Sally Anne Wood who was interviewed by Francisco Cortez in Sunday’s Bulletin. She was born in the UK but has lived in Bunyola (the subject of another of her panoramic works) for twenty years. She said that she considers the Palma painting to be “work in progress” although she has taken a year over it. “Palma is so amazing. It’s just beautiful. I spent many hours roaming the city before I got down to work, I looked closer at what caught my attention and then cut out some areas to change the perspective so I could show the best part of the buildings and areas on display. For example in the painting you can see more than one side of the cathedral. Like a collage.”