Dear Sir,
I was horrified to read that a French plane was not under the same guidelines as British tourists arriving in the country.
I also heard this last weekend a story of British people arriving on the island to go to their property and having goods taken off them and disposed off in a bin.

These items, meat I hear you ask?
No, in fact they had taken off them a tin of biscuits and a box of tea bags.
This is now becoming a farce, I know nothing of foot and mouth being carried in tea bags or in biscuits.
Is this not hysteria on the part of Palma authorities?
I would like to think now that this xenophobic reaction to everything British ceases, or they could loose a lot of valuable tourist trade. I believe I read during my summer on Majorca that the drop in German tourists was counteracted by the numbers of British tourists that came, and the industry was grateful.

Maybe British tourists would not feel as outcasts if they knew that the French and other nationalities were treated the same.
Who knows which EU country actually has the disease. So far only the French and British have admitted it, and are doing something about it.
This could be like the BSE crisis when we had to kill so many animals while others in EU countries denied they had it, yet we do know that German, France and Spain have it too, also in America.

Having lived through the '67 crisis I do feel our Government is handling this all wrong and we are so busy trying to appease the EU countries that we are forgetting the human cost, and how it affects our lives here and abroad.

British tourists are quite happy to help stop the spread of the disease but why should they be treated as second class citizens?

Yours sincerely

Susan A.M Taylor. Scotland

The taxi fare rip-off

Dear Sir,
I am writing in the hope that your paper might use its resources to correct a problem that is detrimental to visitors to your country. On arrival at the airport at about 10:30am on Friday, 02 March, I took a taxi into downtown Palma (near the Cathedral). The meter read 1720 pts but the driver requested 2700 pts. I protested, the driver did not speak much English and my Spanish is limited but I understood the difference was due to an airport charge and baggage charge (I had one suitcase and a small over-arm bag). I paid the price as, being a guest in your country, I did not wish to create a scene, especially when I could be in error. I did request a receipt (copy enclosed) and noting that the cab number was 629. In talking with other visitors I find they also had encountered problems and that they were upset and also felt that they were “ripped off”.

It would appear that this is a problem and that visitors are being ripped off by taxi drivers. Their action is really theft, not much difference than a pickpocket or con-artist but much safer because it is very unlikely that the driver will be caught or prosecuted as the victim would have left the country and not be available as a witness. You have a beautiful country and it is a shame for the visitors when they return home to say they had a wonderful vacation BUT...

To correct the problem, signs are needed at the airport stand and required by law to be displayed under penalty in each taxi telling the rider to only pay the amount displayed on the meter, also explaining any authorized charges that have been added to the mileage cost (airport charge, baggage, extra passenger, etc). If the rider has any question on the charge, to then obtain a receipt and the taxi number and turn this into the tourist office or other authority. Unless this is done, this form of theft will continue. There is too much temptation to a driver as the chances of being caught minimal. The taxi companies should comply as unless it is on the meter, the driver could also pocket any legitimate charges that should go to the company.

Unfortunately I and other writers will now have to include a warning on this problem in our future writing about visiting Majorca.

Sincerely,

Gerald Arthur Rolph.International Travel Writers Association

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