The Partido Popular's Alvaró Gijón found himself at the centre of corruption allegations. | Alejandro Sepulveda


Corruption returned
Corruption reared its ugly head once again. We had thought that it was something consigned to the past, and the pathetic image of former president of the Council of Majorca, Maria Antonia Munar, appeared to represent that past: she was given another prison sentence, this one for three years. But corruption is of the present as well, and it centres on Palma.

Investigators dealing with the police corruption affair in the city had suspected that there was more to this than the extortion and threats surrounding the city's nightlife. One of those implicated in the affair had blown the whistle, we learned. The judge and the prosecutor ordered the National Police in. Thirteen people at the town hall were detained for questioning on Monday. They included two former councillors from the 2011-2015 period when the Partido Popular was ruling the town hall. The operation had to do with the contract for the ORA blue zone parking that was awarded in 2013.

As the week progressed, we learned of the amount of public money that may have been "diverted" and of the amount that may have gone towards "commissions" (one and a half million). We discovered that a senior figure in the PP, the former deputy mayor Alvaró Gijón, was being named. He protested his innocence, denying that he had received a "commission" in return for the contract's award. The current mayor, José Hila of PSOE, suggested that there had been a PP network at the town hall which had been serving its own interests. The PP's spokesperson, Marga Duran, insisted that the PP was not a corrupt party. It all sounded like the old times.

The strange case of the eight-year-old girl
The case of the eight-year-old girl who was attacked in a Palma school playground by other pupils has been a strange one as well as a serious one. Education ministry inspectors issued their report into what they say happened. It concluded that the incident had been a fight over a ball and that there was no premeditation and no evidence of bullying.

On Friday, we suggested that the affair was being swept under the carpet and that there was an aspect of the case (for good reasons) not being publicly acknowledged. The girl's family, meanwhile, was outraged by the inspector's report. "They're taking us for fools." We also noted that a celebrated lawyer, Marcos García Montes, had offered his law firm's services to the family. The law firm is lining up charges - against the education minister and others at the ministry, against the school, against the pupils involved. A claim of attempted murder sounded extreme, but the case has become very much more than a simple scrap in the playground, as the ministry would have everyone believe.

Holiday prices
UK tour operators were becoming concerned about the effect of increased hotel prices on holidays next year. They were understood to be exerting pressure on Majorca's hoteliers to keep their prices down, given that UK tourists are faced with a much weaker pound.

The tour operator demands seemed at variance with what had been reported earlier in the week. The managing director of Thomas Cook UK, Chris Mottershead, had told the annual Abta convention that the travel industry has faced this scenario previously and it could handle it. (We have previously reported research which showed that a fall in the pound in 2013 had negligible impact on holidays.)

The hoteliers were not minded to bow to the demands. Indeed, one could almost detect a note of celebration (in Magalluf anyway). If UK tour operators and so therefore their clients were not willing to accept the higher prices (which were set back in the summer), then there were tour operators and tourists from other countries who would accept the prices. So much for any UK tourist loyalty to Magalluf was an impression given.

At least the hard-pressed British tourist won't have to stump up any more for the tourist tax next year. The government said that it had no plans to increase the tax, though it might be "reframed" for 2018.