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Established in Palma of Majorca in 1962

Saturday 30 May, 2015 Edition #4677

Editorial: A bad move

By Jason Moore

I was rather amazed last month when I was informed that Angela Guerrero, the outgoing British born councillor on the Calvia Council had been moved from nine to 14 on the electoral list of the ruling Partido Popular. Ilike and admire Angie and I thought that the move was rather silly especially when the Partido Popular were actively trying to court the expat vote in Calvia. Many Calvia residents said to me at the time that it was a snub not only to Angie but to the non-Spanish voters as well. Well the results speak for themselves. Just 400 expats voted in Calvia out of a total of 3,800 who were eligible to do so. In fact the Partido Popular were only a few hundred votes away from winning their 10th councillor which would have put them on joint first with the winning Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE). Could things have been different? Well, we will never know but with the benefit of hindsight it does appears that moving Angie down the list was a bad move. Now, obviously certain voters were not impressed with the Partido Popular´s performance over Magalluf but there was also a good degree of voter apathy. The President of the Partido Popular, Jose Ramon Bauza, said after the election debacle on Sunday that his party had “obviously done something wrong.” Yes, he is right. I think that the biggest mistake made by the Partido Popular was that they failed to listen. They failed to listen to the people who mattered, the voters.

Spain’s wealth gap widens as economy powers ahead

Of Spaniards aged 15 to 29, nearly 27 percent neither work nor study.

Government and consumer spending helped Spain’s economy power ahead in the first quarter, data showed, though evidence is also growing that the recovery has increased inequalities rather than reducing them as it has picked up pace.
The economy, and especially a labour market in which nearly one in four remains out of a job, will be a key battleground in a national election due in November.
Leaders of the governing centre-right Partido Popular  (PP) have said the recovery would gather pace and deliver around 600,000 more jobs this year.
But the PP suffered big losses in local elections on Sunday, with many voters opting for change in the shape of new parties - the market-friendly Ciudadanos (’Citizens’) and anti-austerity Podemos (’We Can’).
Growing divisions between the haves and have-nots have fuelled the discontent, forming a potential longer-term drag on the turnaround as well as threatening to undermine Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s bid for a second term in office. “A key electoral battle will be to address the current standard of living crisis,” Raj Badiani, an economist at IHS Global Insight, said in a note.
“The regional and municipal election results highlight the challenge of making the recovery more inclusive to pacify disgruntled voters, who have endured acute income and wealth losses during the crisis.”
Spain’s economy, which began emerging from a long recession in mid-2013, grew 0.9 percent between January and March, its fastest quarterly rate in more than seven years, National Statistics Institute INE said yesterday, confirming preliminary readings.
That puts Spain ahead of Germany and France in terms of growth rates, and the government is projecting that pace will continue in the second quarter and help the economy surge 2.9 percent for the year as a whole.

Rodríguez to stand down as PP president in Palma

José María Rodríguez reacting to the results as they came in on Sunday night.

By Andrew Ede

The president of the Partido Popular in Palma, José María Rodríguez, has decided that he will not stand for re-election, making it likely that Margalida Durán will become the spokesperson for the PP in the city.
Rodríguez will, though, continue in his position until the next congress is held, stressing that, as he was elected to the post by a vote of party members, he was obliged to fulfil the mandate.
In responding to Rodríguez’s announcement, Durán said yesterday that it was probable that her name would be submitted for the presidency at the next congress of the Palma PP, which is due to take place after congresses at regional and island levels.
She would combine a role as party spokesperson at the council with the presidency of the local board of the party, something she considers to be a good idea; until now, these roles have been performed by two party members.
Although the PP lost around 30,000 votes at the election for Palma’s Council, Rodríguez noted that this decline was similar to that in other cities, such as Valencia, Seville and Madrid.
He attributed the loss of support to cuts that had been made because of economic crisis and to cases of corruption.  
While Rodríguez backed Durán to be the one to head what will now be the PP in opposition at the council, he said that he hoped there would be at least two candidates for the post in order to enable good debate.

Guardia Civil praised for making Balearics safe for tourists

Teresa Palmer thanked the Guardia.

The Guardia Civil was formed 171 years ago (the decree which established the force was made on 13 May, 1844) and the delegate of the national government to the Balearics, Teresa Palmer, yesterday presided over a ceremony in Palma to mark the anniversary of its founding. Together with the Guardia’s colonel-in-chief in the Balearics, Jaume Barceló, the regional minister for public administration, Juan Manuel Lafuente, and various representatives from the military and security forces as well as civil authorities, Palmer remarked that during its 171 years the Guardia Civil had evolved according to the progress and development of Spanish society, always there to protect the people. She spoke specifically of terrorism which had been defeated (a reference to ETA) but also of a more “extreme and deranged” menace of international origin.
Palmer noted that the Guardia was also on hand to help Spaniards in difficult situations overseas, as demonstrated recently in Nepal, and that officers from the Guardia are “examples to everyone”.
She went on to praise the efforts of the Guardia during a crisis closer to home, that of the Sorrento ferry which caught fire between Palma and Valencia, as well as the force’s mountain-rescue services, the security advice it offers to businesses with interests overseas, and the safety it provides for tourists.
She said that she was not surprised that the general public continued to value the Guardia Civil so highly, drawing attention to an opinion survey in which the force was ranked as the institution most valued by the public.
She thanked the Guardia for its courage, work and loyalty and for the help it gives to those who need it, offering, on behalf of the people of the Balearics, her love and gratitude to the force.
Palmer congratulated officers who had received merits who were now going into retirement or into the reserve force and highlighted the example given by veterans to young men and women who are now starting their careers with the Guardia Civil.
She also remembered those officers who had lost their lives in the course of their duty.
Finally, she observed that the Guardia was a vital pillar for ensuring the safety of the millions of tourists who come to the Balearics and for making the islands one of the safest destinations in the Mediterranean.

England’s finest folk musicians live in Palma tonight

Martin, Nancy and James in Palma yesterday.

By Humphrey Carter

Lovers of good music, what ever the genre, are in for a rare and special treat tonight in Palma.Last night,  the new folk festival Folk You opened in Palma and tonight,  three of England and the UK’s finest folk musicians/singers/song writers will be performing live at the Teatre Mar i Terra in Santa Catalina.
The line up may seem small but the quality is enormous.
First up is going to be James Fagan, originally fromSydney but who has been based in the UK for the past 19 years, with Nancy Kerr who is this year’s BBC Folk Singer of the Year who also composed her latest award-winning album Sweet Visitor.
Making their debut performance in Spain, Nancy will  be playing fiddle while James plays the   bouzouki.
“It’s going to be real toe tapping music to dance to.
“Folk music has always been there and perhaps, not since the 60s,  is it getting the recognition it is enjoying now, although it had a quick revival in the 80s.
“It’s always been there it’s just kind of been dipping on and off the radar, especially in the media, but, I guess mostly thanks to the BBC with their annual Folk Awards which have been going for 15 years now, folk music is very much back at the forefront of contemporary music again,”  James and Nancy said.
“Ithink people are tired of the fake culture we live in, or most people live in,  and I think that people, especially when times are hard and challenging, want something gritty and a folk voice is always full of emotion and uniqueness.
“Folk music is real and every song tells a story, it could be about a contemporary topic, politics or  traditional themes, but they are tales that people can relate to,” they added.
And, James will be adding an Australian folk theme to their set.
Next on the bill is the legendary Martin  Simpson.
To folk fans, he will need little, if no, introduction.
Over the past 15 years, Martin has won Best Folk Album three times,  Best Musician of the Year twice, Best Original Song once and Best Traditional Song once.

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