A lot of noise in Calvia
There was a lot of noise emanating from Calvia last week. It was the sound of bar owners and entertainers complaining about the implementation of a bylaw on sound limiters that was in fact approved three years ago. The complaints were to do, on the one hand, with the cost of installation and, on the other, with the potential harm to business because of a maximum limit.
There was to have been a "mass protest", which didn't happen because permission hadn't been given. Instead, the complaints were made known at the council meeting. The previous week the town hall had been bullish. Establishments would have to comply with the bylaw and the town hall would be making them comply. It was now suggested that the town hall might have a rethink. Tomorrow, which is from when the bylaw is to be enforced, there will be a decision. Whatever it is, the situation with limiters is not a new one in Majorca's resorts. There is an awkward balance to be struck. Fundamentally, there is the principle of co-existence, which implies that both sides - businesses and residents in this instance - need to show and accept some give and take. But it's not easy.
Limits were being applied or spoken about elsewhere. Coach operators were airing concerns about new restrictions in Sa Calobra that are due to come into effect from the middle of May: they didn't know how they were going to work. It might turn out that they have more to worry about. Sa Calobra was mentioned as somewhere which could have a form of vehicle ban. Meanwhile, Santanyi town hall was gearing up for barring non-resident vehicles entering Cala s'Almonia and Caló des Moro as from tomorrow but hadn't yet sorted out arrangements for a proposed shuttle bus service. In Pollensa, the town hall was considering the introduction of a similar service for Formentor. The bus would operate from the new bus station, which we then learned is once more on hold because an alternative proposal has been made regarding its location.
Claims and rentals' legislation
The Majorca Hoteliers Federation was as busy as ever. It was threatening to convert hotels into apartments as a means of countering holiday rentals (not a new threat, it has to be said) while it was once more suggesting that hotels could cease offering all-inclusive holidays to UK tourists because of the sheer volume of false compensation claims for gastric complaints: the large all-inclusives in Majorca are the main targets for the so-called claims' farmers. This suggestion went down well with a number of you. The comment of the week on the website had to have been: "Fantastic news! Get rid of the fraudulent food poisoning scams, and bring back all the business that has been lost due to the all-inclusive. Can't wait!"
The hoteliers were also engaged in talks with the Aptur holiday rentals association, which received a boost in its opposition of the proposed legislation for rentals. The High Court in the Canaries annulled certain articles in legislation there. This may or may not provide a precedent, but the Balearic government surely has to take note.
There was another fatality last week that was the result of a driver being under the influence of alcohol and cocaine. The driver, now detained and charged with reckless homicide, had been "burning rubber" in Magalluf prior to hitting and killing tourist Adrian O'Kane.
Mr O'Kane's brother and sisters came to the island to take his body home and to also try and establish precisely what happened. The fact that they were running up against a lack of assistance or help from the authorities only compounded their distress. There must surely be room for greater compassion to be shown in official circles. In unofficial ones, there was a great deal of compassion, as had been the case with cyclist Bryan Stout, killed by a drunk and drugged-up driver the week before. RIP.
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