Carlota and Jimena were getting ready to be able to go out again.

23-04-2020Julián Aguirre

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. Let's say that at best it was a trifle insensitive. Did it not occur to Ralf Becker that his letter sent to Francina Armengol calling for the Balearic Islands to be reopened so that owners of second homes could return to the islands might cause a bit of a stink? Had it been his letter alone, we might have been none the wiser, but it was copied by many others and sent to the president. Initially, we were informed there were "hundreds" of these letters from German property owners. A general consensus emerged which suggested that there had been 180.

The general response was as might have been expected. It wasn't exactly pro-German, which was one reason why Herr Becker and the other 179 might have thought twice before firing off their missives. And it wasn't as if the news of this stayed in Majorca. Most certainly not; it was all over the Spanish press, to say nothing of foreign media.


The "health corridor"
Still, it seemed as if the Spanish government might be somewhat more amenable than the Balearic government. This was the impression given by transport minister José Luis Ábalos, who appeared to contradict the Balearic position and suggest that he was giving houseroom to the requests from these property owners. This was the interpretation, when in an actual fact he was talking about the possibility of some sort of "health corridor" to facilitate German tourism (and therefore flights) and not just for 180 property owners in the Balearics.

This so-called corridor was also under consideration in Paguera, where the hoteliers association was expressing rather greater confidence about this summer's tourism than its counterparts in Magalluf and Santa Ponsa. This was because Paguera has a high level of German tourism. The corridor might even be open by June, which would almost certainly have been news to President Armengol.


Running and jumping
Prime Minister Sánchez secured his latest lockdown extension, the only surprise about this being that anyone should have been surprised. Within this extension, there were however some relaxations - one anyway. This had to do with children, about whom there was a good deal of confusion. Uncertainty reigned, as it seemed that children, whose maximum ages were to vary between 12 and 14, would only be allowed out if they stuck rigidly to a parental-guided corridor to the local bank. How many kids are that interested in going to a bank?

It was a children's corridor of uncertainty that demanded rectifying. And it was. Running and jumping; children all over Spain are about to now be racing around with parents in panting pursuit, making sure that they don't dare go a millimetre over a kilometre.


On the horizon
The prime minister meanwhile suggested that a "de-escalation horizon" could be viewed in the second half of May. There was also a "prudently optimistic scenario", which was prime minister-speak for - in all likelihood - giving us advance warning that the state of alarm will continue for the rest of May, but with some changes to the Ts and Cs.


The municipality cases
The public health department in the Balearics finally got round to releasing figures for the number of coronavirus cases per municipality. Palma has had more cases than anywhere else. Get away? Really? Just over 1,000 of the getting on for 1,800 when the figures were announced.

The information, we were told, will allow "predictions of how de-escalation will evolve". These were the words of the public health director-general, who then stressed that this wouldn't mean different approaches. Despite her having said this, talk immediately started of there indeed being different approaches, even by municipality. This was partly because of the de-escalation horizon and the prime minister himself having intimated that different approaches could be adopted.

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