Warren Lyttle being taken for the court appearance last Sunday.

24-01-2016Vasil Vasilev

The past week was a tale of some tragedy. There was a death in Costa de la Calma and there was the tragedy drama of Princess Cristina. Sandwiched between these were the fuss over a restaurant, Palma's name and convention centre and, let it never be neglected, the weather.

Two different types of tragedy
As ever with such stories the initial reporting supplies the bones of the incident. Sunday's front page spoke of the murder of a British woman in her home. It was Tuesday when we got to learn rather more detail. The photo of a dishevelled and unshaven Warren Lyttle arriving at a Palma court spoke volumes in itself. He was to argue that the death of his wife, Lisa Jane, had been the result of a sex game which had got out of hand. The court accepted the Guardia Civil's version of events. He had strangled Lisa following a row over money. He was remanded without bail. We will probably not here any more of this for quite some time.

The plot of the tragedy play that features Princess Cristina took another twist. On Friday, High Court judges considered that her defence case to apply the so-called Botin Doctrine was not applicable. There is likely to be an appeal to the Supreme Court, but the consequence of the decision was that she will remain an accused along with seventeen others in the Nóos trial, her accusers not being the state but Manos Limpias.


New government talks
The make-up of the next government of Spain seemed no nearer being resolved. it was "Round 2" of negotiations between the various political parties, said Wednesday's front page. Meanwhile, President Armengol was advocating a model of government similar to that of the Balearics and trusting that her PSOE colleague, the national secretary-general, Pedro Sánchez, would follow it in arriving at a solution to the current crisis of national government.


Warm weather and drought
The weather continues to astound us. On Thursday, it was "summer in the winter" with people taking to the beaches as the warm conditions continued. But while some love the weather, others do not. The government's drought plan was being unveiled on Wednesday, and we learned - somewhat alarmingly - that there had been a draft for such a plan produced by the previous government which wasn't implemented. With anxieties increasing over the lack of water, the town hall in Palma adopted its own emergency plan, one that will entail buying in almost six million euros' worth of desalinated water.


Palma's name and convention centre
Palma was taking decisive action in a different way. Last week's council meeting approved the change of official name from Palma de Mallorca to Palma. Sheila Forbes, commenting on this decision on the website, probably spoke for many in suggesting that the town hall now gets on and tackles "the real problems that affect the everyday lives of ordinary people".

Something which the town hall seems to have wanted to gloss over was the background to the departure of the ex-director of the Palacio de Congresos company. Josep Sintes, an expert in convention centre operations, hadn't been long in his post when he suddenly resigned a couple of weeks ago. There had to have been more to it than the "personal reasons" that were cited. On Thursday we found out, Sintes breaking his silence and referring, among other things, to "hints" that he should present a report on the future running of the centre in a way with which he didn't and couldn't agree.


Restaurant overcharging
Frank Leavers caused something of a stir on Wednesday by referring to "gross overcharging" of restaurant food in Majorca. This did not sit well with some readers. William Haycock (a restaurant owner) said in a Thursday letter that he was upset by an inference that all restaurants were bad, while Alan Cook (Friday) found the generalisation "ridiculous" and Brent "the Colonial" (Saturday) made a similar point regarding generalisation.

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