Absolute madness on the roads

Dear Sir,
With reference to the “The need to drive properly” letter in today's Bulletin I would just like to reply that no, this person is not the only person to realise the need for use of indicators – there are obviously two of us! I would like to add that if only everybody drove within the limits of the law (especially all those mentioned in the letter) then driving would be much easier for all concerned, drivers and pedestrians alike. Only this morning driving to work I saw a van, which should have given way, pull out into the path of other drivers and cause them to brake hard, almost causing an accident. Then a few yards further on a car next to me decided she was fed up of waiting for the traffic lights to change to green and just drove on, crossing 2 sets at RED! This is absolute madness – and if the police took any notice and fined these people when caught (and the police are very often around) then maybe they would think twice, and if not then double the fine the next time, and so on. Accidents are blamed on the amount of cars on the roads – what about the drivers who haven't a clue how to drive. If everybody drove as they are supposed to then there would be far far fewer accidents. Anyway maybe these people do use their indicators – it's just that, along with their brake lights etc., they do not work.

C. Cox. Palma Nova.

An alternative viewpoint

Dear Sir,
Kate Nicholas' comments published in yesterday's Bulletin did not surprise me as I am sure many other foreign residents are of the same opinion regarding the written and spoken use of the Catalan language on the island. It would be interesting to know how many years Kate has been living here and how badly Majorca has treated her for her to dig her heels in so hard and actively reject any attempt towards real integration. One of the main objectives advocated by the association Ciudadanos Europeos, of which she appears to be a member, is precisely that, integration. But first of all we must be very sure what is meant by integration, a word used very laxly in recent years and in a cosmopolitan Majorca could have differing interpretations. Integration should not bear a price label, meaning that whether foreigners are bringing in money or not should not be related to their desire or need to “integrate”. The poor Spanish immigrant of the fifties had no alternative to “integrate” pretty quickly in Berlin, Geneva or London in order to simply survive. It is a known fact that one can manage here very well for a lifetime speaking little or no Spanish, let alone Catalan, and many do just that. A wide range of everyday activities from simple things like shopping to business transactions and dealings with many administrative bodies can be conducted more and more in English or German, so really the need to speak either of the two official languages is dwindling rapidly. It is true that when many foreigners come to live here they are not aware that the language of Majorca is Mallorquin (a derivation of Catalan) and that both Castilian Spanish and Catalan are co–official, like it or not. They may neither realise that up until the imposition of Castilian Spanish during Franco's dictatorship, Mallorquin, Ibicenco and Menorquin were the order of the day. Catalan, which embraces these dialects, is the most widely spoken minority language in Europe and if it cannot be used and spoken freely here without it being considered as an insult, then where, tell me? Behind all languages are hundreds of years of tradition, culture and folklore, it is the very essence of a people, which all of us foreigners, regardless of our economic status, should at the least learn to respect and if possible, enjoy.

Lynn Tipper Jones

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