The politicians' New Year
The past week featured round two of the extended festive season, New Year celebrations taking place, messages being given and there also being the coincidence of Palma's Festival of the Standard. The latter of these provides an annual display of pro- and anti-Majorcan nationalism, and this year - in the pro camp - was the vice-president of the Balearics, Biel Barceló. Jorge Campos of the right-wing Circulo Balear, whose name always appears at this time of the year because of this political divide, condemned Barceló's participation. "The vice-president of the autonomous government should resign or be sacked."
Barceló's government colleague, the president, Francina Armengol, was not party to the pro-sovereignty march. Instead, she was delivering the annual presidential New Year message. "We must work so that young people find work, so that older people can return to work and so that the greater part of society does not struggle to make it through to the end of the month." This was but one of the president's priorities that were expressed in a message that the main opposition, the Partido Popular, attacked for being unrealistic.
Festive season violence
With the celebrations come the incidents that are not of the political variety. The most serious that the emergency services had to attend to was a knife attack on the morning of New Year's Day. The incidents seemed less serious than one on the morning of Christmas Day. The victim of an assault with a broken bottle in Palma's Gomila district died two days later. A Colombian was arrested, but it turned out he had been wrongly identified through Facebook. A further arrest was subsequently made.
Politicians, when not delivering messages or taking part in marches, were relatively quiet, except for those in Palma. The town hall administration revived a familiar theme of the past few years: the official name of the city. It will look to discard the "de Mallorca" element that was brought back by the previous administration. "We have been asking for the recovery of the name in recent years," said the deputy mayor with responsibilities for ecology, agriculture and animal welfare. Meanwhile, on our website Palmadave suggested that the naming issue, like the terraces on the Borne, should be decided by the people.
Prospects for coalition
On a wider political scale, there was the fallout from the result of the pre-Christmas general election to make politicians' festive season less than relaxing. One possible coalition - between the PSOE socialists of Pedro Sánchez and Podemos - appeared to have been ruled out, our Tuesday front page announcing that the socialists had rejected a coalition deal with any party that favoured a referendum on Catalonian independence, which is the case with Podemos.
An American for Real Mallorca
With Spain's footballers enjoying a short festive break, the football news of the week came from Monro Bryce on Saturday. "The massive news from the Son Moix broke, when it was announced that Robert Sarver, owner of NBA franchise Phoenix Suns, is set to claim a majority stake in the club." Could this prove to be the making of Real Mallorca? There's no doubt that having a first-class football team would be highly positive for Majorca, but Americans' success in English football has been patchy and it has been said that they don't quite get it with the culture of the sport. In this regard perhaps, Monro observed that Sarver enjoys watching "soccer".
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