|Saturday 20 December, 2014 Edition #4534|
Editorial: Changing times
By Jason Moore
SPANISH Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy was thrown a lifeline yesterday with a new poll which suggested that a majority of Catalans would vote to stay part of Spain. The margin was very slim, with 45.3 percent saying they would vote “no” to an independent state of Catalonia, and 44.5 percent “yes”. It is the first time the “no” vote has taken the lead since Catalan head Artur Mas began his drive for secession in 2012. So perhaps now Rajoy should have the necessary courage to give the green light for a referendum on independence which would finally resolve the issue, once and for all. I have always thought that the majority of Catalans would vote with their head rather than their heart to stay with Spain and Rajoy should act now. By not giving Catalonia a referendum Rajoy is just stoking the fires of independence. He should take heart from the poll. There is speculation that the regional government in Catalonia could call early elections as they press their case for independence. But this is also a gamble. According to the latest opinion polls the pro-independence parties would not gain an overall majority and therefore would be unable to form a government. The protest party Podemos is on the rise in Catalonia and at the moment the pro-independence parties are at a crossroads. If they continue their battle for a breakaway from Spain it all might end in tears. The electorate are divided and times are changing in Catalonia.
New measures against antisocial behaviour in Magalluf have been agreed by the Balearic Government
By Humphrey Carter
The Bulletin reported yesterday that Magalluf was going to have its cards marked from now on and yesterday, moves to root out anti social and illegal activities in the resort were approved by the government, Calvia Council and the hoteliers.
Palma.—Among the measures implemented are new regulations banning antisocial behaviour, the introduction of combined international police patrols, which will include agents of the British police, and a new administrative status for Magalluf as mature tourist destination.
The incidents that took place last summer in Magalluf have highlighted the difficulties that this area of Calvia faces due to antisocial behaviour.
These incidents have a negative effect on Magalluf’s image, which in turn impacts on Majorca’s reputation and the image of the Balearics as a tourist destination.
The Balearic Government and all the regional authorities and associations involved have agreed unanimously that neither the practices undertaken by some businesses nor the antisocial behaviour of a small number of tourists will be tolerated.
For this reason a number of measures have been put in place to improve the current situation, raise standards and develop mature areas.
LORRY TIPS ITS LOAD OF RUBBISH
By Humphrey Carter
Fortunately it happened just before midnight otherwise the lorry, which shed its load of 22 tons of rubbish, would have caused traffic chaos.
Palma.—The lorry was carrying waste imported from Ireland to the incinerator to be treated from Alcudia where the imported waste had been unloaded. The lorry was heading up the Soller road just before midnight when it came to the Palmanyola roundabout.
According to traffic police sources, the lorry driver entered the roundabout too fast and the heavy goods vehicle immediately flipped on to its side, shedding all of its load across the road.
According to the Guardia Civil, the rubbish was covered with a tarpaulins, but it was not enough to stop the tons of Irish waste from spilling all over the road.
The driver walked away with just minor injuries and it was he who immediately contacted the emergency services.
80 percent of under 30s still living at home
Palma/Madrid.—A new report reveals that the idea of flying the nest remains little more than a pipe dream for many young Spaniards.
The latest quarterly report from Spain’s youth council (the CJE) reveals that only 22 percent of people under the age of 30 have managed to leave home to buy or rent an apartment for themselves.
According to the CJE this figure shows “the fragile situation young people face in the labour market and the tough housing market conditions that make buying a house impossible for the majority of young people”. The report’s aim is to periodically assess the social and economic conditions of young people in Spain with a particular focus on work and housing.
It shows that young Spaniards would have to set aside 61.2 percent of their salaries in order to be able to buy a house and revels that they would need to earn 104.09 more than what they are currently bringing in to be able to afford a mortgage (the average amount should be about 30 percent, according to the report’s authors).
Tourist police involved in nearly 10,000 incidents
Palma.—The Special Police Attention to Tourists (SPAT) responded to a total of 9,839 incidents during the summer season this year and spent 35,512 hours ensuring the maximum level safety in the region’s largest holiday resorts.
The Minister for Public Administration, Juan Manuel Lafuente, said yesterday that this year, the service began operating in 21 municipalities across the Balearics. And, next summer, new the service will be operating in eight new municipalities; Estellencs, Inca, Manacor, Muro, Porreres, Sa Pobla and Es Mercadel in Minorca and San Joan in Ibiza. An extra eight members of the service are also going to recruited taking the total strength of the force to 50.