Officers from the National Police at the school where the eight-year-old girl was attacked.

07-10-2016Alejandro Sepúlveda

Police work
There were four incidents, each of them appalling in their own way. The body of a 54-year-old man was discovered in an old military bunker in El Toro. Investigators concluded that it was suicide, though the circumstances - the body was burned and the hands were apparently shackled in some way - were strange to say the least. But a thought perhaps for the local police officers who found the body. Gruesome. Amidst the criticisms directed at police, the type of situations they are confronted with can all too easily be forgotten.

A National Police officer, José Fidalgo, was evidence of heroic work the police provide. In the week after a National Police colleague had been given a high honour for his rescue of two drowning children in Son Serra de Marina in August, Officer Fidalgo saved the life of a 17-year-old girl who was attempting to commit suicide. The girl had released her grip of the railings of a fifth-floor balcony, when the officer grabbed her. He later said that it had been "something of a miracle" that he had been able to grasp hold of her.

A father was arrested for attacking a drunken Polish man who had urinated in front of his six-year-old daughter. The attack involved a bottle; the Polish man suffered cuts to the head, chest and neck. Some of you expressed your sympathy for the father, and a suggestion that the "drunk" should himself be arrested attracted a good deal of support on the website.

Another young girl, an eight-year-old, was the victim of an assault by a dozen other pupils in a school playground in Palma. She was taken to Son Espases and was able to go home the next day. The incident naturally caused an outcry. The National Police are investigating, as are education inspectors. The family wants some answers and had been asking for some prior to the incident. It would seem that bullying was being overlooked.


Rainy October
To more pleasant matters - the weather - except it wasn't all that pleasant. There was more heavy rain. Despite the desperate need for rain, this is no consolation for visitors. And will the change in the weather - unsettled conditions forecast to last for several days yet - mean a change in fortune for the tourism sector? A Wednesday report said that October was destined to be the best for years, but there was a caveat: the weather.


All-inclusives and other tourism matters
Tourism minister Biel Barceló was his normal busy self. First on the agenda were all-inclusives. These are due to be subject to specific regulations under the reform of the tourism law next year. Meanwhile, he was able to announce that sixteen fines had been issued because of "violations" by all-inclusive. He didn't detail what these infractions were, but the fact that inspections had been made of eighty hotels that weren't on the ministry's register as offering all-inclusive made us wonder why there weren't more fines. The register isn't voluntary.

Barceló also announced that the draft for legislation on holiday rentals will be published later this month. It is understood that 43,000 places will be allocated to rental accommodation that will become legitimate (one took this to mean 43,000 places in apartments). These 43,000 places are currently "free" and were made free under rules to specify limits on tourist places in 1999. The government hopes in this way to ensure that there will never be more than 500,000 tourist places at one time. It might hope to, but there will still be the places that are not "regulated". Current estimates put these at some 80,000.

And then there was the tourist tax. Barceló suggested that it was unlikely that there would be an increase in the tax rate for the remainder of the legislature (until 2019). Although the cabinet's line suggested this will be the case, it was becoming more and more apparent that the three parties in the government "pact" agree on an increase next year. With Podemos becoming active in drawing up the budget for 2017 (they weren't last year), a possible tax rise started to look probable.

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