|Saturday 23 May, 2015 Edition #4665|
Petition to ban horse carriages to be delivered on Tuesday
The petition that was raised to outlaw horse-driven carriages in Palma has not as yet met the objective of obtaining 100,000 signatures, but the organiser of the petition, Luis Moreira, will nevertheless be presenting the petition to Palma’s city council on Tuesday next week, when he will be accompanied by representatives of two animal protection associations in the Balearics.
The campaign to have the carriages banned was sparked off by the news and image of a horse which had collapsed because of heat stroke in front of the Cathedral in early April, at a time when the temperature was nowhere near as high as it is during the summer.
In petitioning the council for a ban, it was observed that numerous incidents have occurred in the past in which carriages have been hit by cars driven by impatient or negligent drivers, while horses have died because of heat stroke and/or excessively long hours of work.
The petition drew attention to an incident last year when a horse collapsed on the Avenida Jaume III and was then brutally beaten by the carriage driver in full view of passers-by, who included tourists.
Horses undertake their work in both high and low temperatures, 365 days a year; even when it occasionally snows in Palma, they work.
And as they operate in a city where emissions can be high, they can suffer from respiratory problems because of inhalation, while the hard surfaces can cause their legs to weaken.
Majorca - a top destination for active tourism
According to Trivago, the Germany-based metasearch hotel price-comparison site which launched its Spanish version in 2006, Majorca is one of the top ten destinations in Spain for active tourism (sometimes also referred to as adventure tourism). Majorca is rated so highly because of the variety of activities that are on offer and because of the great ease with finding accommodation.
Majorca is especially attractive to German active tourists who consider the Tramuntana mountains to be ideal for walking and cycling excursions. Trivago notes that the mountains, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, are “joined to the sea and are dotted with picturesque small villages”. In addition, there are streams and caves that are suitable for canyoning and caving, while diving enthusiasts can find different places around the island, the most recommended locations being the rugged north of Majorca and the Cabrera archipelago (a national park since 1991).
The nine other parts of Spain which Trivago highlights in its active tourism top ten are Asturias, Cadiz, the Canary Islands, Cantabria, Cuenca, Galicia, Huesca and Lleida.
Campaign against pirate taxi drivers at the airport
The Optitaxi Association in Palma is to launch a campaign against pirate taxi drivers who operate at the airport.
The president of the association, Manel Barjacoba, says that from 1 June there will be a stand at the airport from which information will be given to tourists in English, German, Spanish and Catalan regarding prices, journey times and services provided by licensed drivers and also warning them about pirate taxis.
He notes that there is a problem with information for taxi clients and in particular that concerning pirate operators: “many do not know that the pirate taxis are unsafe and, generally, more expensive than the licensed taxis”.
Optitaxi represents almost 700 drivers, many of whom have contributed financially to the cost of the campaign which, initially, will have a budget of over 400,000 euros: part of this budget will be used to also launch a website.
Meanwhile, the councillor for transport in Palma, Gabriel Vallejo, has said that the plan to install surveillance cameras which can read number plates at the airport has been delayed for technical reasons. When properly installed, it is hoped that these cameras will be able to detect pirate taxis.
Restrictions on Palma street performers
Clowns and jugglers will not be found by cruise passengers when they take the so-called cruise-ship route from the S’Hort del Rei gardens to the Plaça Espanya in Palma.
It has been decreed thus in a measure to regulate the city’s street performers.
As a consequence, all street performers are to be prohibited in the S’Hort del Rei, Avenida Antoni Maura, by the Cathedral and in the Plaça de Cort, i.e. by the council offices.
The prohibition was covered in the decree issued last summer in respect of public behaviour (the one that has become known as the “bikini law” on account of the requirement to cover up when away from the frontline).
Painters and cartoonists will not be able to occupy more than two metres by two metres, including space for a stand and table. They may not sell anything pre-made or by others. Such artists are typically found on the esplanade of Dalt Murada, on the steps that lead from S’Hort del Rei to the Palau Reial, in the Plaça Major and Placá Marqués del Palmer as well as along part of the calle Sant Miquel.
Musicians will be able to occupy one square metre per person, either as solo performers or as part of a group. They will not be allowed to use generators, while percussion or instruments with a “shrill” sound (which might be a trumpet) are to be banned. They will also not be allowed to perform in areas considered to be “acoustically contaminated” or of special protection. Nor will they, unless with permission, be able to perform in front of shops or official buildings.