Spain is not corrupt
There was no doubt what was the most striking front-page headline of the week - “Spain is not corrupt claims the PM”.
Mariano Rajoy was faced with the embarrassment of the resignation of his health minister, Ana Mato, after an “investigating judge accused her of benefiting from a kickback scheme”. Rajoy said that he could “understand the irritation and distrust of our citizens, but suspicion should not be levelled at everyone”.
Humphrey Carter, in a strongly worded Viewpoint, suggested that Rajoy was “either deluded or in denial, or both” as he sought to convince Spaniards not to regard their politicians as corrupt.
Humphrey went on to suggest that Rajoy was treating the population and the rest of the world as though they were stupid and questioned whether he, Rajoy, could any longer be taken seriously.
Jason Moore, in a follow-up Viewpoint, adopted a different tone, but while agreeing with Rajoy that Spain was not a corrupt country, Jason concluded that corruption was a dirty word and that “Rajoy should stamp it out”.
Hot and cold
There was also no doubt where the warmest place in Majorca was last week. On Monday, Pollensa registered a roasting 29 degrees.
According to the local Met Office, this was “a record ten degrees higher than usual”, and one that was set just days before the Christmas lights were switched on in Palma, splendid photographic evidence of which was in yesterday’s paper albeit above a news item which informed us that we were in for a wet and cold weekend in the Balearics. The weather. Don’t we just love it?
And with winter threatening to stamp its mark, time to plan for the winter kitchen.
“Stew, winter’s comfort food” was the subject of Stephanie Prather’s reVive Cuisine column, and here was a recipe for a “winter veggie stew”, one made from the “simple staples” of the local market. Yum, yum, and easy and inexpensive to make.
There was also something of a winter cocktail to be admired in Charles Harrington-Clarke’s Spiritual Adviser column last Sunday.
It was the classic Black Velvet of Guinness and dry champagne, a mixture, Charles informed us, that was created in 1861 at London’s Brooks’s Club, probably as a way of mourning the death of Prince Albert.
Palma open and closed
Palma’s Ginbo, the cocktail bar at which Charles is a mixologist, received an honourable mention alongside Marc Fosh’s restaurant as examples of establishments which have contributed to making Palma “a sexy, historic seaside town”, according to a review in The Sunday Times which had left council officials “over the moon and delighted (that) their efforts to continuously improve tourism infrastructures” were paying off.
There was, however, a slight negative element to the review - “Majorcans don’t really do Sundays and most restaurants are closed” - which prompted Jason Moore to call on local authorities to ensure that more was open in Palma. With this in mind, there was news of possible change in the near future.
The front page on Thursday - headline “Open all hours” - referred to Llucmajor council’s decision to declare the whole town to be of tourist interest, thus enabling shops to be open all hours, and to Palma’s wish to extend Sunday opening hours to all of the city.
Building up and knocking down
Something which will be open, by summer 2016, is the Rafa Nadal Tennis Academy in Manacor.
Majorca’s tennis legend was accompanied by President Bauzá and other members of the regional government at a ceremony to lay the first stone, during which plans for the academy were unveiled. Nadal said that he would be working at the academy when he retires, and it was noted that in addition to the academy there would be a museum with donations from sportspeople across the globe.
While plans for a new building were making headlines, so were those for redevelopment of others, specifically the Pax and Barracuda hotels in Magalluf. Here was further evidence of investment being ploughed into the resort - ten million euros in this instance - with Fergus Hotels and the Intriga Entertainment Group forming a partnership to create “a brand new Day and Nightlife experience”.
In his Week in Tourism review, Andrew Ede welcomed the development, noting that neither hotel has enjoyed “a particularly positive image” in recent times.
The other end of the construction spectrum, that of demolition, was also in the news.
The Luis Sitjar stadium, for so long the home to Real Mallorca, was being knocked down.
“The final whistle” was the front-page headline for the story which reported the end for the abandoned stadium that had fallen into “a terrible state of disrepair”.