Getting on for two years ago, university researchers had begun monitoring for possible signs of olive ebola. | R.L.


After the flood
It was a case of après le déluge last week, with no one seemingly sure what sort of aid would be coming to the rescue of farmers who had suffered losses because of the floods. The Farmers Union was angry that the national government's decree appeared to exclude aid for mostly all crops, and the regional government politely asked Madrid if it could revise its decree in order to guarantee aid. This all seemed rather odd, as we'd been given the impression that the Balearics had been declared a virtual disaster area and that compensation would be on its way. Apparently there was no such declaration, the regional government suggesting that Madrid had "forgot" about the Balearics.

The national government's delegate, Maria Salom, defending her Partido Popular colleagues in Madrid, told everyone to calm down. Aid will come, just as it has come in the past. She asked that the whole affair shouldn't be turned into a "political battle", which is exactly what it looked as if it had been turned into.

Olive ebola gets serious
Meanwhile, there was growing anxiety over the xylella fastidiosa bacteria. Seprona, the Guardia Civil's environment police, will be applying rigorous controls to ensure there is no export to the mainland of trees that might be affected. And on the mainland there were calls for trees in the Balearics to be sacrificed in order to guarantee there is no spread of olive ebola.

The mounting seriousness of the pest was such that the demands were for thousands of trees to be eliminated. The destruction of palm trees by the red beetle may well turn out to be minor compared with the destruction caused by the olive ebola scare: Majorca's landscape could be altered, possibly irretrievably so.

Buses and taxis
The regional transport ministry has been under fire because of its plan for buses to tourist resorts from the airport. Taxi drivers announced their protest plans, the first action being demonstrations in Palma later this month. In addition to the previous threat to bring roads to a standstill, the drivers also said there will be no night services during the Easter period. The ministry and government were not for yielding, and the ministry put further flesh on the bones of its transport master plan when it announced that central reservations along stretches of motorway going into (and out of) Palma are being earmarked to become fast lanes for buses.

You weren't particularly impressed by the idea, just as you continued to be unimpressed by the taxi drivers and their opposition to the bus services. Still, if the fast lanes are created, the taxi drivers might also benefit. Buses wouldn't be the only vehicles to use the lanes. Cars with at least three passengers would also be able to.

Town halls insulted
Town halls were leading the criticisms of the way in which the tourist tax revenue is being spent, and the Partido Popular weren't far behind them. Mayors from the party were agitating for there to be a legal review, while parliamentary spokesperson Marga Prohens described the spending decisions as insulting. Palma, we noted, might feel further emboldened in pressing its case to keep all the tax revenue the city generates by citing the case of Barcelona: that city is demanding that it gets 100% of its tourist tax contribution in Catalonia.

The ice-cream kiosk
For anyone outside Puerto Pollensa, the fuss over an ice-cream kiosk being removed might seem over the top. We suggested that it was somewhat OTT, with social media full of outraged comments. A report which suggested that opinion was divided was accurate up to a point, but the views of the nostalgists far outweighed the ones of those who believed that the situation with the kiosk needed "regularising". This included there having to be a tender, but as we reported yesterday, there will now not be a tender, despite the town hall having said there would be.