When not preparing for the big trial, the past week was one of festivities and, how could we have avoided it, THAT tax.
Unimpressed by the tourist tax
It was back to work for the regional government, and on Thursday we were flagging up a decision to be taken the following day, and it duly was taken. The cabinet approved the text of the draft for the sustainable tourism tax. It is to be introduced on 1 June, our Saturday edition said, while the minister responsible for it, Biel Barceló, was saying that the tax had been demanded by the citizens. Marga Prohens of the Partido Popular was less certain that the citizens were fully behind the tax, observing that residents of the islands will also have to pay it if they stay in tourist accommodation. She was not impressed by the tax or by the government's tourism policies. "This government of the left doesn't believe in tourism." Comments on our website made clear that readers were also unimpressed. "Total madness," said Steve Riches. "It will eventually bite you on the ass," suggested Mike.
Getting ready for the trial
If we aren't already familiar with it, we will be getting very used to one word over the next weeks and months: Nóos. This was the name of the organisation founded by Iñaki Urdangarin, the husband of Princess Cristina, and Diego Torres. All three of them will be taking their places in the courtroom on Monday for Palma's "big trial", as our front page described the legal process surrounding the alleged defrauding of over six million euros of public money, a sizable chunk of it having been Balearic public money. There is an unexpected benefit that will result from it. Our Thursday edition said that hotels in Palma are going to be full, thanks to all the media people who are coming to cover the trial.
An American in Palma
The American takeover of Real Mallorca was confirmed. The deal was sealed on Monday in Madrid and so by Wednesday we were able to present the club's "dream team" on the front cover, this being the threesome of new majority shareholder, Robert Sarver, the former majority shareholder and still club president, Utz Claassen, and Maheta Molango, a lawyer and ex-footballer, who is now the club's chief executive. "Hard work and dedication" were identified by Sarver and Molango as their recipes for success for a team that is currently in the wrong half of Spain's Liga Segunda.
Kings on parade
The frantic goings-on involving tax, the trial and the dream team obscured the fact that Majorca was still on holiday. On Sunday and Tuesday we reported that Palma was ready for its big night - the parade of the Three Kings on Tuesday evening. All this preparedness paid off, as photos revealed on Wednesday. Thousands had lined the streets of the city to see Melchior, Caspar and Balthazar. Rather unfortunately, there having been no rain for a month, there was some on Tuesday evening, but this didn't dampen spirits.
High winds and high temperatures
In addition to there having been no rain, there had also been very little wind for what seemed like weeks. This all changed when high winds battered the island on Thursday, our front cover the following day showing a yacht that had slipped its mooring in Puerto Andratx. Despite the wind persisting, on Friday there were some particularly high temperatures, and our website carried a springlike photo of children on the beach in Puerto Pollensa, where the high had been 25 degrees. The lack of rain, however, is now becoming a serious worry.
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