Banning the flag
Nerves were being touched from different sources last week. The Saturday Viewpoint by Jason Moore regarding the attempt to ban the "estelada" Catalonian pro-independence flag from today's Copa del Rey football cup final suggested that "bully-boy" tactics were being deployed by the Partido Popular government in the Madrid community. On our website, one comment supported the banning of "separatism symbols". The opposite case was argued vigorously: the flag and its waving was a democratic right to freedom of expression under the Constitution.
Place names, airport names
Earlier in the week, the issue of place names - Paguera versus Peguera (covered in the Thursday and Friday editions), Palma or Palma de Mallorca (Wednesday and Friday) and the airports (also Friday) - sparked off numerous observations on the website. Into these came arguments over the use of Catalan. A PSOE parliamentary deputy had said that the use of Palma alone represented the city and the island's Catalan heritage, though it was noted that Palma was in fact Roman and that Ciutat de Mallorca had been the name given to the city by the conquering Catalan forces.
Much of the defence for Palma de Mallorca, among readers, stemmed from the way this is used to differentiate the city for air travel purposes. So when Friday's report said that the regional government was also considering changing airport names to Catalan, the response was strong. "Do these highly paid officials have nothing better to do?" "Silly time-wasting, it's pathetic." "What about Ibiza and Mahon? Eivissa and Mao? No idea, mate, somewhere in Spain I think."
An ongoing theme of a tourist season that has barely yet really begun surfaced once more. It had to do with forecasts of overcrowding and services being stretched to or beyond their limits this summer. On Tuesday, we picked up on the way this had been reported on The Guardian website. Was it all environmentalist propaganda? A key source who had been quoted was, after all, from the GOB environmental lobby group.
Linked to this theme has been the anti-tourist graffiti in Palma, a reaction, so it is believed, against the human pressure from cruise ships and from the increased number of tourists renting accommodation in the city centre. The graffiti, as reported yesterday, was finally being removed. Though it had appeared more than a month ago, the delay in its removal had to do with gaining agreement (because properties are listed) from the Council of Majorca. One reader suggested that "too long" had been spent in "pratting about". The damage had been done. A Thursday report on the same subject indicated that new powers were being drafted so that the town hall can react much more swiftly if such graffiti appears again.
The police were in the news for various reasons. There was talk that the National Police officers coming to Playa de Palma for the season were having problems finding accommodation. More seriously, yesterday's edition reported on a raid on Calvia town hall by the Guardia Civil. The judge investigating alleged local police corruption in Palma had instructed the Guardia to move in and look for evidence of alleged favouritism towards certain businesses by Calvia local police over the period 2008 to 2015.
Puerto Pollensa rows
While Magalluf is at the centre of that investigation, the more genteel resort of Puerto Pollensa has been the focus for its own controversies: those to do with disabled access caused by work on pedestrianisation and with the lack of beach services. We noted yesterday how political parties on opposing sides of the arguments had posted Bulletin reports to their Facebook pages - different reports had reflected these opposing perspectives. One reader was in no doubt. "The ongoing situation with the new pavements and the beaches is an utter disgrace."
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