Just a few days after the Scottish referendum, Catalonia went on independence mode calling for the people to decide on a possible breakaway from Spain. But, as expected, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said that there would be no referendum because it would breach the Spanish constitution. End of story? Well not in Catalonia where regional leader, Artur Mas, said that the proposed referendum would go ahead on 9 November. The stalemate continues with both sides still miles apart. In the Bulletin´s Yes and No weekly column Ray Fleming said:“I believe that Rajoy is right on principle on the constitutional issue but I also think that he needs to be more flexible in his reaction to Catalonia’s ambitions which, if pursued in opposition to Madrid, could have very serious consequences.”
The English Speaking Resident Association annual golf tournament ended in victory for the northern district after a well fought contest on the greens. A Bulletin report congratulated all who took part.
The dispute over the Balearic government´s new three language teaching plan continued with the local authorities saying that they would not be backing down despite a court order which suggested that the plan was not fit for purpose. Unions and the local government were involved in a war of words but a Bulletin report said that 80 percent of local schools were now teaching the new language plan.
On the pitch, Real Mallorca, have real problems but off it there are serious concerns about the club´s future. Real Mallorca spent the week rooted to the bottom of the Second Division and off the pitch the intrigue continued with reports of a takeover by an Italian businessman. Monro Bryce said that the whole episode was like a soap opera.
Rafa´s real problems
Majorca tennis ace Rafa Nadal continues to have serious problems; he crashed out of the China Open after returning from injury. The Bulletin´s headline said it all: Sweet and Sour for Rafa.
Europe was making the headlines in Britain as another Conservative Member of Parliament jumped ship and joined the United Kingdom Independence Party. The move almost overshadowed the Conservative Party conference where Prime Minister David Cameron announced tax cuts. But it is Europe which continues to be the issue which will split the mainstream parties. Donald Trelford, in his weekly Bulletin column said:“Languages apart – and despite the wars they have fought against each other down the centuries - I suspect that Britons have more in common with other Europeans than they have with Americans. As the Scottish independence referendum showed, when the chips are down people know they belong together.
Despite the growth in UKIP support, I suspect that in a Europe referendum, if and when it ever takes place, the British people would again choose to stick with what they’ve got and reject the siren claims of the Little Englanders.” Anna Nicholas in her column on Saturday went further: “UKIP would ensure that immigration was reined back so that British residents could be first in the queue for jobs and not pesky foreigners. In London last week a retailer told me that if it wasn’t for foreigners, they’d have had no sales staff, an opinion shared by a private club secretary who told me that jobless Britons were often happier claiming benefits than getting down to real work.”
Andrew Valente in his weekly column discovered the Sa Ronda Spanish restaurant in the centre of Palma which he said:“ is the best kind of restaurant, buzzing and noisy.” He gave it top marks and with a bill of 27 euros for two, everyone was smiling!
End of the season
The tourist season was rapidly coming to an end with many hotels closing their doors for business. This led to an increase in unemployment in September and there are now 65,000 people without a job in the Balearics.
The biggest and smallest
The biggest and the smallest of the Royal Navy were on show this week in the Bulletin. The biggest submarine ever built for the Royal Navy, HMS Astute, was visiting Gibraltar while Palma welcome the minesweeper, HMSGrimsby.
The Anglican Chaplain Revd. David Waller announced in his weekly Bulletin column that the Consul General Andrew Gwatkin and also a German Lutheran priest Revd. Heike Stijohann would be taking part in the Remembrance Service in Palma on Sunday 9 November at the Anglican Church. There will also be a service in Puerto Pollensa.
Andrew Ede in his weekly spotlight on the north of the island in Saturday´s Bulletin gave full details of the Alcudia fair which is taking place this weekend.
Economic good news
There was some good news for the Spanish economy on the Bulletin business pages which an announcement at the Spanish economy would grow by two percent this year. Sales of new cars also rose by 26 percent.
A sign of the times
Times are changing in Majorca and an advertisement from Queens College in Genova clearly showed this as they are organising Chinese language courses.