King Felipe and President Armengol on Monday.

10-08-2020

On Monday morning, there were audiences with King Felipe for leading Majorcan politicians. At the Almudaina Palace in Palma, the King met President Armengol; the president (speaker) of the Balearic parliament, Vicenç Thomàs; and Catalina Cladera, president of the Council of Majorca. The meeting with Palma's mayor, José Hila, was by videoconference, Hila having isolated following contact with someone who had tested positive for coronavirus.

Armengol spoke about the need for aid for the Balearic economy and specific support measures from the Spanish government. She pointed to the fact that the Balearics has been the region most negatively affected by the virus because of the level of tourism. The president highlighted solidarity the Balearics have shown to other regions and the hope that this will be reciprocated. The King, she noted, "is a great connoisseur of the islands". "He loves them, and this is our good fortune."

She told reporters that the situation with the former king had been raised but did not give any details. "My concern is the citizens of the Balearic Islands. The Royal Household has to give explanations; these are not for me."

Vicenç Thomàs explained the work of political institutions, unions and employers in tackling the extraordinary situation created by Covid-19. He stressed the "series of solutions" that had been arrived at - "solutions to the citizens' problems" - and the degree of political accord for these solutions. Thomàs emphasised his "great concern" at the high numbers of workers in the Balearics who are on ERTE furlough terms: some 17% of employees compared with a national average of around six per cent.

The president of the Council of Majorca, Catalina Cladera, praised the response of the European Union to difficulties faced by the island because of its tourism dependence, but added that there is a need to keep asking the EU for resources in order to deal with the impact of the virus. She voiced her concern as to how things may develop over the coming months.

Speaking after the meeting, Cladera highlighted the message of "normality" conveyed by the royal family spending their vacation in Majorca, as is always the case. It is the "best promotion" of the island as a safe destination in light of the difficulties being experienced this season. Referring to the royal visit to Petra, Cladera thanked the King for the gesture in recognition of Fray Juniper Serra, who did "good things at the time, which are part of history".

José Hila, whose first test for the virus has been negative, told the King that the demand for social assistance has trebled because of the crisis and that requests for help in order to prevent eviction have increased significantly. "People are going to have a very bad time this winter."

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Yogi / Hace about 1 year

Having a chat with a lame duck King isn’t much good. Armengol needs to pull her finger out and get a grip on the surge in cases by putting in controls on all internal arrivals. It’s insane that they have dithered for so long.

+15-

Mark Badoer / Hace about 1 year

That is not 1,5m anti-social distancing. 100 euro fine. Proof is in the picture.

+-10-