A tricky week for President Armengol.


What a hoot that was. You wouldn't normally expect President Armengol to provide such rich entertainment, but she most certainly did. The Balearics own Cummings moment, but concerning a rather bigger fish - comparatively speaking in terms of position, that is - provoked the gems such as Bar Mengol plus the memes and other images of the president enjoying a few pints and Jägerbomb chasers. What had happened to the tourism minister on that fateful night? Iago Negueruela had been in the earlier dinner party group. He should have stuck around and pinned a copy of the tourism of excesses decree on the president.

As it turned out, or so it was said, the president downed no more than one modest gin. It wasn't really the intake that mattered of course; it was the timing. The opposition smelt blood (and drink): "Resign! Resign!" One minute after one o'clock in the morning, and the Hat Bar was in breach of Covid regulations, and so was the president. But had she left the Hat Bar one minute before one o'clock?

Meanwhile, there was the issue of who had leaked the information to the press, including the copy of the police report. The plot was thus thickening, and as far as the PP were concerned, the clock for the president's resignation was ticking. Further instalments of Bargate no doubt await.

Time for a curfew

The president had at least been making the most of restricted bar opening times while the opportunity lasted, as all the talk was now of curfews. And these would actually be curfews and not what were applied in parts of Palma, which weren't. Closing bars at 10pm in Son Gotleu and elsewhere pretty much amounted to a curfew (as there was no reason to go out), but it was now being appreciated that there can't be curfews unless the Spanish government declares another state of alarm.

Various regions were up for having curfews and so shutting everything down between, say, 10pm and 6am and shutting everyone inside. A region which wasn't up for a curfew was the Balearics. It was not a priority, stated Javier Arranz, as he observed the positive test rate go ever higher. It then turned out that it probably was a priority, as the Balearic government said that it was in favour of the Spanish government's latest state of alarm and wanted to be included in this state of alarm.

Safe Canaries

And one could be certain that the Canaries weren't up for a curfew either. All their Christmases came early on Thursday, when the UK and German governments gave safe travel all-clears. Jet2 announced they would be resuming flights, Tui in Germany said that demand had soared, while in the Balearics people were wondering about those cumulative cases per 100,000 inhabitants.

What was that? 81.3 cases per 100,000 on October 21 in the Canaries? Oh well. The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control may still have had the Canaries, like everywhere else in Spain, marked red on its risk map, but safe corridors seemed to have been created. And so the PP opposition scented even more blood. The "neglect" of President Armengol and Iago Negueruela had apparently prevented there being corridors just the like the ones for the Canaries.

Nowhere open, no tourism vouchers

But as everyone knows, corridors for the Balearics at the end of October would be unlikely to usher forth great hordes of tourists. The hotels shut anyway, and this fact of touristic life may well just have occurred to the Balearic government and the Aviba association of travel agencies when they agreed to postpone the introduction of the tourism voucher incentive scheme so that residents of the Balearics could enjoy some holidays at discount prices. In November. Or December. When the hotels are closed and would be unlikely to reopen with the promise of some internal tourism, while at the same time having to take account of ERTE.

The reason that the government and Aviba cited wasn't the fact that nowhere would be open but the "health situation". Quite. The very same health situation that makes safe corridors appear to be a "utopia", as the president of the Majorca Hoteliers Federation observed apropos the Iago Negueruela claim that corridors were just "hours or days" away from being approved.