THE other day I was in one of Palma's big stores and I was approached by a member of the sales team who was trying to get me to take out one of their store charge cards. I was struck by one of her questions “have you got a job” she asked. It was quite a shocking question when you consider that the Balearics has always had full employment. I just thought how times have changed in the space of six months and how serious the economic situation must be.
I remember growing up in Britain in the early 1980s and seeing reports on the news about mass unemployment and the fact that three million people were out of job. Living in Majorca I never thought that employment would be a problem. But it is now. The unemployment rate over the winter months on the islands will be an absolute nightmare. Unfortunately, all we can do is hope that we will win the battle against the coronavirus and things will return to normal next year.
Obviously, the Balearics is in a very difficult position because we are so reliant on tourism. Without tourism we don't really have an economy. Perhaps, efforts should be made to diversify the Balearic economy so that we are not so reliant on tourism. But this is easier said than done. We are living through difficult and dangerous times and it is a question of Keep Calm and Carry On. One thing we should all remember and it has certainly been pushed home over the last few months; without tourism, we are nothing.