Extra police were being brought in to cope with the passport control queues.

20-07-2017Policia Nacional

The continuing queues at passport control
The passport control mess continued. There was plenty of anecdotal evidence that the long queues occur at specific times and not at others, which is fairly obvious, given the way in which flight schedules operate. While some passengers can pass through without any delay, others are subject to intolerable queuing.

The national government's delegate went and had a look, and her visit - it was said - resulted in the agreement to bring in extra police, a number of them National Police trainees. Questions that needed asking were why it was necessary for Maria Salom to wait until last week to visit or indeed why a visit was even required to do something about a situation that has been given enormous publicity locally and in the UK. Perhaps this was an example of the higher profile that Salom's political masters in the PP in Madrid wish to give her. And so it was evidence of her taking action, when in fact she should have done this weeks ago.


Dealing with drunk tourists
Action being seen to be taken was the order of more than one day at Palma town hall. The new mayor, Antoni Noguera, held talks with consulate officials, hoteliers and Salom in seeking to impress the public, especially the residents of Arenal, that he was going to get tough on drunk and and anti-social tourists. The proof in the pudding and all that; one very much doubts that the residents are convinced, and they have a petition on the go against "low-cost" tourism in the resort.


Action against Magalluf prostitutes
In Magalluf there was action. Inspections at various establishments apparently offering illegal prostitution were swiftly followed by a town hall announcement that it has opened proceedings to close down six bars/clubs. The general consensus of opinion was that this was a positive move and an overdue one.

However, and inevitably, comparisons were drawn with measures being taken against one form of prostitution and not another. Why close down bars when the plague of Nigerian street prostitutes (who in truth aren't anything of the sort; merely robbers with violence) continues without any intervention? The town hall, in explaining its action against the clubs, said that residents have had to endure the nuisance that these clubs have created. Fair enough, but what about all the residents (and tourists) who have to put up with what is more than just nuisance caused by the street women?


The useless holiday rentals' bill
The long anticipated holiday rentals' legislation reached the end of the parliamentary line on Tuesday. And it rapidly became clear that this was most certainly not the end. In editorials, we described the legislation as a dog's breakfast and a charade. It was utterly useless because - thanks to Podemos - a key aspect to do with apartments meant even greater legal uncertainty than was already the case. The charade had to do with the government and its pact with Podemos; the pact was finally and transparently exposed as a charade.

The Partido Popular's Biel Company drew much the same conclusion, and as President Armengol can no longer trust Podemos (if she ever could), an election should be called. He also demanded the head of the vice-president and tourism minister Biel Barceló, who he accused of having been mainly responsible for the legislative "nonsense".

The impression was given that Podemos had chosen the rentals' legislation - a key initiative for the government - in order to demonstrate the power that the party exerts over the government. If so, then this backfired when it became clear exactly what the Podemos siding with the PP meant. Barceló apologised on behalf of the government and pledged to sort the mess out as soon as possible.