Call that a protest? This was a question asked about the demonstration against Symphony of the Seas when it arrived in Palma for the first time last Sunday. The figure of one hundred protesters seemed a somewhat liberal estimate. The numbers can be exaggerated as can the importance attached to this sort of protest. While, as we recognised, there are very legitimate concerns regarding contamination and saturation, it does perhaps also need to be recognised that in the case of the Sunday protest it seemed to be as much about a display of support for Catalonian political prisoners as it was to do with a cruise ship. Like Arran and their protest last summer, displays such as that last Sunday do need to be considered within the context of a Catalan nationalist agenda allied to political agitation.
The small tax contribution
Not that there are any "tourismphobics" in the Balearics, according to tourism minister Bel Busquets, who the Partido Popular branded as being "anti-tourist". The minister presented her views in an interview last Sunday in which, among other things, she referred to the "small contribution" that tourists are making "towards the upkeep and improvements of this little piece of paradise". Her own contribution as a tourist is indeed small: 83 cents for a night in Ibiza while there for a meeting. For families in summer, the contribution might not seem as small as she might like to think.
Controlling summer behaviour
With summer on the way, there was yet more from Calvia town hall about how it and the police forces intend keeping control. Party boats (booze cruises) and English visitors during the World Cup are among the priorities for the local security board. There was no mention of you know what, although the minister had informed us that mugging prostitutes are "an issue for the state". Nevertheless, "there has certainly been a drop in the number of incidents" over the past few years. Discuss.
In Palma the summer police deployment is going up by 30% this summer; 120 officers will be mobilised each day. Meanwhile, the El Pi party was calling for there to be more officers from the state security services. For the Balearics as a whole, there was a reduction of 245 National Police and Guardia Civil officers between 2011 and 2017.
The death of cyclist Christoph Bohnen the week before remained a theme last week. The driver, Anais Marco Batalla, was on the receiving end of a great deal of condemnatory comment. It appears that the incident in Capdepera has aroused more indignation than any other similar one in the past. Perhaps this was because people were posting onto her Facebook page; it was deleted.
Cycling was the subject of a fairly full and frank discussion among readers of the Bulletin website. This was inspired by both the fatality and news of Council of Majorca plans to improve cyclist road safety. Cycling is an issue, especially at this time of the year, which generates much debate and no small amount of emotion.
Anais Marco's claim that she was blinded by the sun was disputed by a witness. One would think that it wouldn't be too difficult to reconstruct whether she might or might not have been dazzled.
But the sun couldn't be relied on last week. A freak hailstorm hit parts of the island on Wednesday. Poor weather continued, with some more heavy rain yesterday. For tourists it wasn't great news, and they wouldn't have been in need of a creation by a Majorcan company - HiSun Point includes an interactive system which can advise how long it will take to get sunburn.
And finally, Santa Margalida town hall announced its plans for a register of dog DNA as a means of trying to reduce the problem of dog mess. There was a slight flaw to the plan, as the town hall conceded. If dogs aren't registered, then there is not much the town hall can do. Still, it was a step in the right direction and may well be one that other town halls adopt. Dog mess, like cycling, creates a lot of heated comment.
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