Winter flights once again
Well, whoever would have thought that the subject of winter flights would be taking centre-stage on the pages? The latest round in this ongoing, never-ending saga was kicked off by letters on Sunday which highlighted the length of time it took to get to Palma from Scotland because of a transfer at Gatwick and a similar complaint from a family in Yorkshire.
The story was such that it even found its way onto the pages of Ultima Hora and it provoked further letters and considerable comment on our Facebook page, most of them also bemoaning the lack of flights but also referring to the impact that this lack has on homeowners on the island and to various other aspects related to the off-season, such as restaurants not being adequately heated.
There were those who took a different view, noting, for instance, the effect that the local climate (not warm enough) has on tourist decision-making and berating an “obsession with a never-ending stream of people ... to the shores of Majorca come winter, autumn, spring and summer”.

Shops closed or not
One letter, from Derek Brampton on Thursday, also referred to shops being closed in Alcudia on Sundays, citing in particular the example of an Eroski supermarket.
This also drew comment through Facebook, while Andrew Ede, on Wednesday, had explained the background to a recently adopted move to close supermarkets on Sundays.
It was all to do with a town hall decision not to declare Alcudia a year-round “zone of great tourist influence”, a decision which, as reported yesterday, was in fact reversed at a council meeting last week; the supermarkets can now open again on Sundays.

AENA’s privatisation
A subject not unrelated to winter flights is the partial privatisation of the airports authority AENA (the public offer of 28% of shares is due to be made next month). It is a subject which has reopened the argument in the Balearics for the regional government to play a part in the management of the islands’ airports.
In yesterday’s paper, Nuria Riera, the government’s spokesperson, was stressing the concern of the government to increase inter-island and domestic flights and to open up new routes to new markets in order to boost tourism. On inter-island flights, in Friday’s issue, we referred to Air Europa’s new routes that will start in May.

Controversy over canonisation
Last Sunday, we nominated Majorcan-born Fray Junipero Serra as the person of the week in recognition of the fact that he is to be canonised by Pope Francis. There was also an article by an American professor of history, Steven W. Hackel, under the heading: “the most lasting legacy belongs to Father Junipero Serra”.
However, objections to the canonisation were being raised by Native Americans, some of them expressed very strongly.
“The missions were prisons and death camps for my people.” Another professor, Antoni Picazo Muntaner at the university in Palma, defended the canonisation and Fray Junipero: “I would say he never mistreated the Indians, the contrary in fact”.

English-speaking supporters club for Real Mallorca
With the German Utz Claassen now installed as the owner of Real Mallorca, closer ties are being sought with the expatriate community. On Tuesday, we featured photos of Bulletin readers who had won tickets for the match against Mirandes on Sunday (which Mallorca won 2-0), while in the Viewpoint, Jason Moore flagged up the possibility of forming an English-speaking supporters club.
The initiative gained swift momentum, and by Friday we were able to report that there will be a meeting at La Cantina next to the Real Club Nautico in Palma at 5pm this coming Tuesday to consider the formation of just such a club.

And ... Magalluf
A week wouldn’t perhaps be complete without Magalluf edging its way onto the pages, and it duly did. Calvia Council discovered that it didn’t after all have the power to ban pub crawls, which it wants to as part of efforts to clean up the resort.
Other measures include a ban on drinking alcohol on the streets and on wearing only swimwear away from the frontline (a similar measure, therefore, to the one in Playa de Palma). Meanwhile, Jeremy Kyle’s ITV programme on Thursday evening which was supposedly going to expose more of the problems of the resort turned out to be little more than a re-hash. Yesterday, Humphrey Carter rubbished the programme, describing it as “pointless”.


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