Cruise ship record
A record number of cruise ships were in Palma's port on Tuesday and the number of passengers was very nearly another record - the 22,000 or so failed to surpass some 23,000 on a summer's day last year.
The arrival of the ships did not go unremarked upon in the Balearic parliament. The Podemos deputy, David Martínez, wanted to know what measures were being taken against "environmental contamination and human overcrowding" and he compared the situation in Palma with that of Barcelona. On Friday, we observed that the council in that city wishes to apply a tax to day trippers (including those on ships), justifying this on the grounds of financial costs (services and so on) and the social cost to residents.
Flags and more on graffiti
There was a link between the cruise passengers and the ongoing row over the anti-tourist graffiti in Palma. The number of passengers on given days is high in a concentrated area of the city and has, it is felt, contributed to the sentiments of the graffiti. The tourism minister, Biel Barceló (as reported on Wednesday), denied that the government had failed to condemn the graffiti.
Barceló was responding to the Partido Popular, whose spokesperson, Alvaro Gijón, claimed that the government had been "bad mouthing" tourism. Another member of the PP, Marga Duran in Palma, was hounding a Palma councillor, Neus Truyol, over the news that we carried on Friday's front page regarding the loss of Blue Flags, three of them in Palma. Yesterday, we reported Duran as suggesting that were Truyol working for a private company, she would have been "given an hour to clear her desk".
And yesterday, two of the three Palma beaches again had the red flag flown after "contaminants" got into the water following heavy rain; which was precisely what had happened last year.
Cycling trials continue
The problems with road closures last weekend because of the Mallorca 312 cycling trial had reverberations. By Wednesday, the Council of Majorca was saying that it would be looking to "bring order" to sporting events using the roads. It stated that such events were important for the island's sustainable tourism and for lengthening the tourism season but acknowledged that there had been inconvenience to residents and other tourists alike. A reader suggested that we had dreamt up stories about complaints, but there were any number lodged with Tráfico, while several town halls made their feelings known as well.
Another reader, Effie Cadwallader (Mrs), had provided a lengthy and vitriolic letter in last Sunday's paper which attacked, among other things, "Bradley Wiggins wannabes with their shiny black backsides, their calves like knotted thongs and their flying spit".
A story (and Jason Moore Viewpoint) that drew strong response on our website had to do with the number of Catalan speakers among foreign-born residents of the Balearics. A survey suggested that almost 60% of these residents could speak Catalan. But was this "Catalonian propaganda", as suggested by one reader? Another made a general point that it was "a great pity that so many foreign residents choose to just 'get by' in their own language".
Another website rush was caused yesterday by the story of "chaos" of Puerto Pollensa beach services. Within no time of the story being posted, the page views were mounting and in were coming the comments. "What sort of a council does Pollensa have?" was one question being asked.
Sport takes over in Calvia
Down in Magalluf, meanwhile, there had been fun and activity on the beach. The annual Majorca Beach Rugby Tournament was the biggest yet, and on Tuesday we carried a report as to the winners, with the Men's Cup having been won by Ponent from Majorca and the Ladies' Cup being taken by Latvijas.
No sooner had the rugby finished and it was time for football to take over. There was a shift in location to Santa Ponsa's football ground for the fifth Mallorca Football Tournament for police, security and government personnel with teams from all over the world taking part.
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