President Francina Armengol of the Balearics

President Armengol understands people's uncertainties and despair.

31-01-2021Teresa Ayuga

President Armengol believes that by June, the Balearics should have a "guarantee to be able to open the tourism season". In an interview on Saturday, the president explained that the government is working with national ministries on issues such as vaccination in Europe, mobility guarantees and the vaccination passport. "I am committed to a tourism season with the greatest security. If the vaccination rate enables this, we will have a much better situation in spring than we have now."

Armengol feels that EU centralised purchasing of vaccines is "good news". "It is not a race to see who gets immunity first, especially for a region such as ours which depends on mobility, tourism and vaccination in other countries. It is a production problem for the pharmaceutical companies, which I am sure will be fixed so that the population can be vaccinated in summer. When there are massive doses, which I hope will be soon, in a maximum of three months we will have the whole population vaccinated."

The second phase of the vaccination programme in the Balearics will be for essential services, such as police and teachers. The general population will then follow. "When this phase arrives, the Balearics want a strategy linked to regions' economic situations and to the approval of greater mobility." She said that there is discussion regarding some priority being given to personnel in the hotel and tourism sectors. The president is of the view that the Spanish government should consider the Balearics to be a strategic and essential area. "These personnel will have greater contact with people."

On the social unrest caused by restrictions, Armengol admitted that it would be naive to think that the public will be happy with these restrictions. "These are very difficult times and it is impossible for people to be happy. It's been like this for a year and I understand the uncertainties, the fears, the pain, the depression and the pandemic fatigue. But I must protect people's lives, save their lives, and this is what I will do whatever happens. For this, though, there has to be financial aid for the most affected sectors."

The president accepted that, like all other governments, there have been some mistakes. "But the first thing to bear in mind is that we are in the middle of a global pandemic. The disease is highly contagious and it kills. People's despair is logical, but this virus must be stopped. The situation is not the fault of the majority of the people nor of any economic sector. The virus is to blame.

"We took very tough measures before other regions, but unfortunately this disease is massively contagious. The ascent in cases is very rapid, while the descent is not so fast. De-escalation therefore cannot be too fast."

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JR / Hace 3 months

Hope she has had time to fix all the other problems. Sewage on the beaches is unacceptable. Vaccine passports to stop queues at immigration. Yob tourism. Rip off prices. Low standards of service. Anti tourist brigade - or is that all forgotten.? Once this lot is sorted she may tempt a few back. Or will they try elsewhere? The real world has changed for good and Mallorca needs to think long and hard about how it competes.

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Steve, Son Maties / Hace 3 months

Incredibly optimistic, and equally hard to believe that all the population of Mallorca could be vaccinated before the first tourist arrives this season. Looking at the progress rate so far, and doing the math, it's lookung more the 2024 season she's talking about to me....

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Alvo / Hace 3 months

Really!

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John Parkinson / Hace 3 months

Gréât,flights booked 15 June ,open the bar Kika.Love Paguera

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Peter / Hace 3 months

Which year ?

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Rick Damm / Hace 3 months

A slippery slope.. suggestion that after healthcare workers, next in line might be “essential workers” like police? Then possibly hotel and tourism workers? Maybe bartenders? Taxi drivers? Generally seems like the older population, say over 50, would have actually appreciated a degree of priority there... But tourism Euros seem to be what counts. Beware of that slope! Older taxpayers here on the island will not forget such.

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Lisa / Hace 3 months

I do hope that this is more than wishful thinking and our good lady president backs her ‘intentions’ with sound policy choices, detailed vaccine rollout plans and hard bargaining in Madrid.

This summer will be make it break for many.

She would also do well to hold discussions with the airlines, think about her government’s messaging to the home countries of tourists and address thorny issues like the tourist tax.

Saying ‘okay you can come back now’ in the summer, late summer, or whenever will not be enough if there is no strategy behind it.

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