Pablo Iglesias, the national leader of Podemos, the day after the election.

21-12-2015Emilio Naranjo

The Spanish election, all-inclusives and rain (the lack of it) were some of the themes in Christmas week in the Bulletin.

A complicated election result
"Spain decides." Sunday's front page said that the country was facing its most uncertain election in 40 years, and the prediction was not to be proven wrong. The opinion polls had already flagged up how the result would go, and they weren't far out. Tuesday's cover spoke of "stalemate", the Partido Popular having lost its majority, PSOE also having lost votes, and Podemos having been the real winners on the day. There was no overall winner, just as the polls had anticipated that there wouldn't be. Jason Moore observed that the only choice appeared to be another election, partially on account of the four parties not exactly liking each other. Andrew Ede, who had spent most of Sunday providing updated coverage of the election on our website, found that that had given him a headache, not unlike the one that Spain now had.

In the Balearics, Podemos emerged as the second strongest political force, gaining the same number of seats in Congress (two out of a total of eight) as PSOE but having secured a greater percentage of the vote. We identified various pacts that might form the next government, but one of them - a tie-up between the PP and PSOE - seemed to be being discounted. Thursday's cover said that there was no deal between the respective leaders, Mariano Rajoy and Pedro Sánchez, the latter saying there was no possibility of supporting the PP with Mariano Rajoy as prime minister.


Lottery joy for a member of the Balearic parliament
While the Balearics and the nation were allowing the message of electoral uncertainty to sink in, there was always the Christmas lottery to take everyone's minds off things. No one scooped the El Gordo top prize in the Balearics, but in Ibiza, a syndicate grabbed second prize, a member of this being a socialist deputy in the Balearic parliament, Silvia Limones, who had been nervous ahead of making her maiden speech in the house when she got news of the win.


The downside of the good weather
With Majorca having enjoyed several weeks of warm and dry weather, the potential downside of this was highlighted on Saturday. There was, said our headline, growing anxiety at the lack of rain, a photo of the Gorg Blau reservoir in Escorca in the Tramuntana mountains revealing the low level of water. The two vast reservoirs that supply Palma - Cuber being the other - have current capacity of under 30%, the report said. At this time last year, there was almost double this amount. Concerns were mostly being expressed by farmers and the possible failure of crops to feed livestock, while there were further worries about the quality of water because of the low levels.


All-inclusive figures questioned
With the year drawing to a close, tourism - as noted in a review of the tourism year on Saturday - has enjoyed a record twelve months, but there are reasons for not getting carried away, one of these being the impact of all-inclusive (AI). A Wednesday report suggested that the AI offer was at its lowest for ten years, it amounting to 12% of hotel places, a figure that is down from 18%. On the face of it, this might have seemed positive news, but Ian Morrison, commenting on the report on our website (the figures were "rubbish"), was surely not alone in observing that in certain resorts this percentage is massively higher. Ian said that all hotels in Calas de Mallorca were AI, and there are resorts where the level, if not total, is certainly nowhere near the 12% that was being reported.


Branson's return
Someone who will presumably not be concerning himself with all-inclusive is Sir Richard Branson. On Saturday, there was more about the Virgin boss's return to Majorca. "Glad to be back", Branson's words were reinforced by those of the managing director of Virgin Limited Edition. The Son Bunyola estate will be joining this select and exclusive group of establishments in becoming the "best eco-friendly five-star hotel in Europe".

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