|Wednesday 1 April, 2015 Edition #4621|
Editorial: A failed flagship policy
By Jason Moore
I watched a television interview on IB3 on Monday night with Balearic President Jose Ramon Bauza, who is standing for re-election. He was asked about his ill-fated three language (Spanish, Catalan and English) teaching system which should have been introduced in local schools. He replied that it was a pity that the new school curriculum had been blocked by teachers because 60 percent of the jobs in the Balearics now require English. Bauza went on to say that all parents would support their children learning more English. It was a good defence but I think that Bauza showed weakness and decided to stand down to end the confrontation with teachers who said that they were not prepared for the three language system. In other-words the new language curriculum was quickly abandoned following a strike by teachers. If only the Bauza government had prepared teachers and listened to their concerns this new language system would now be in place. It was one of Bauza´s flagship policies and it all really ended in tears. I think one of the biggest mistakes made by the local government was to try and steam-roll the teaching plan into local schools without the support of the people on the frontline, the teachers. Bauza said in the interview that his Balearic government, if re-elected, would push ahead with the programme but perhaps it is a question of too little too late. School is out and while Bauza says that the battle is not over, the teachers won.
844 euros spent per year on eating out in the Balearics
The average resident in Spain spends just over 800 euros a year on eating out in restaurants – equivalent to 67 euros a month or slightly less than 15.50 euros a week, according to the National Statistics Institute.
Northerners and those in land-locked central regions shell out the most on dining out – Extremadura leads the field at an average of 982 euros a year per head, 18.88 euros a week or 81.83 euros a month.
Centre-north region Castilla y León comes second with residents spending 949 euros a year on eating out, followed by north-eastern Navarra at 943 euros, Galicia at 937 euros and Cantabria at 935 euros.
It is Spain’s colder regions which see the most spent on restaurants – other than in the Canary Islands, where residents stump up 933 euros a year on eating out – with Cantabria’s and Galicia’s neighbour, Asturias, spending 916 euros per head per year and the Pyrénéen wine region of La Rioja, 901 euros, being 17.33 euros a week or 75.08 euros a month.
Some of Spain’s more touristy regions come farther down the list – Murcia is near the bottom with a typical inhabitant spending 628 euros a year on dining out, only beating the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla where, jointly, residents shell out 608 euros a year on restaurants.
Cabrera National Park refuge opens today
The newly reformed refuge on the island of Cabrera opens for the season today, in order to accommodate Easter Week, and will remain open until the end of October.
Restoration of the refuge was completed last year, just in time for the summer season and there was a waiting list of people who wanted to stay on the island over night.
The renovated building is part of the old military barracks and sleeps 24 people in 12 bedrooms which each have private bathrooms.
The refuge has been fitted with a communal kitchen and also boasts a lounge for guests and, for Easter, there are apparently still a number of vacancies.
However, normally, bookings can only be made on line and three months in advance.
New UK summer flight
Iberia’s low cost airline Iberia Express is launching five new routes from the UK this summer.
It will fly from Edinburgh and Gatwick to Madrid, as well as from Heathrow to Tenerife, Gran Canaria, and Majorca.
In September the airline will begin Manchester to Madrid flights.
Starting this week, the Edinburgh to Madrid flight will operate four times a week, rising to six from 20 July to the beginning of September.
It will offer two daily return flights between Gatwick and Madrid, one daily return flight between Heathrow and Majorca, Heathrow to Gran Canaria four times a week and Heathrow to Tenerife, three times a week.
Noise problem in Palma continues
By Francisco Cortez
Arguments and disputes over the noise levels are set to continue between neighbours and restaurant owners in some of Palma’s busiest areas.Palma City Council was due to approve new civic laws this year that would see restaurant owners in La Llotja, Draçana and Calle Fabrica having to close their terraces earlier to reduce noise levels, but with the high season officially under way, the new statutes are yet to be approved.
The delay is set to cause distress among local neighbours who have long complained about the noise and have more than once warned the authorities the situation was not viable.
Neighbours have also complained about the noise level generated by bars and restaurants in Apuntadors street, Sant Joan and Montenegro streets.
A senior official from the health department revealed yesterday the situation could yet be resolved this year, although chances were, that with the local elections around the corner the local government would most likely try to avoid taking such a delicate topic to the assembly.
Government opposition party Mes representatives went further suggesting the PP (Partido Popular -ruling party) will not risk upsetting business owners over this matter.
Alicante victims “wanted to join sons living here in Majorca”
By Humphrey Carter
It is understood that the British couple found shot dead at their home on Sunday afternoon near Benidorm was planning on moving to Majorca to be closer to their sons.Peter and Jean Tarsey, both aged 77, were apparently shot during a botched burglary at their home in Xaló and police suspect they may have been dead for a few days, although Peter, a former Olympic diver, was spotted out at a local cafe on Friday.
However, as the police continue with their investigation, not only is the local community in Xaló, friends and neighbours in a state of shock over what happened, so too is the expatriate community here in Majorca.
Their two sons, Alexei and Sascha are extremely popular faces in Palma and used to own the famous restaurant Fabrica 23 in calle Fabrica, before relocating round the corner to a larger premises due to the success the two brothers enjoyed with their business venture.
Alexei is a highly qualified chef who, after working in London, worked on the super yachts before joining Sascha at Fabrica 23.
In fact, Fabrica 23 was one of the forerunners of the restaurant boom in fashionable Santa Catalina and, after years of great success and becoming one of the most popular expatriate restaurants in Majorca, the brothers expanded before Alexei returned to super yachts and Sascha remained working in the hostelry sector.
Palma remains home for the two brothers and, according to sources close to the investigation, the parents had put their chalet on the market in February for €230,000 (£170,000), hoping to move to Majorca to be closer to Sascha, who lives here with his Spanish wife, and Alexei, when he is not working on the super yachts.