The right decision
The Balearic government will surely be criticised for putting the islands on an emergency footing because of the weather and cancelling school for up to 150'000 children. I must admit initially I thought their actions were rather alarmists and the decision to cancel school led to comments such as “if they took this action in Britain children would stay away for much of the winter.” Balearic leader Francesc Antich was in a difficult decision but I think he was right to offer all the necessary advice and take precautions. The storms over the last seven days have claimed the lives of four people and the damage runs into many thousands of millions of pesetas.

Also, you must take into account buildings in northern Europe are naturally better prepared to cope with freezing weather. One of the main constraints in the Balearics is homes and buildings to be cool in the summer and not to withstand freak weather which probably occurs once in a decade. My only criticism of the Balearic government is that the decision to cancel schools was taken too late and many parents didn't know until late the night before. The weather bulletins early this week said that the island would be facing severe weather and therefore the local government could have given parents 24 hours breathing space. As I write this the sun has re-appeared after the freak hail storm which hit Palma yesterday morning.

Life appears to be returning to normal. The local government may have failed other tests but their performance during the bad weather week has been first class and should be praised rather than criticised.

Jason Moore

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