I can't understand why the local government is celebrating the ruling that no more hypermarkets and department stores can be built in the Balearics. Deputy leader of the Balearic government Pere Sampol said “it was an early Christmas present.” Well, talking as a shopper, if all Christmas presents are going to be like this one this year, then Santa can stay away. Doesn't the Balearic government realise that thousands of people in Majorca go to Barcelona and Madrid to do their shopping? What a ridiculous state of affairs and meanwhile the local government celebrate a ruling which means that they will have to continue to make the expensive journey. The freeze is being introduced to help small shopkeepers but if they walk up any High Street in Britain or Germany they will see the writing on the wall. How many small shops open on a Saturday afternoon? You can count them on one hand. How many small shops have you been in lately that have exactly what you want with few problems? If we the shopper have to support the small trader then they themselves must make a greater effort.

More flexible opening hours would be a good start. Sunday openings..., opening over lunch-time.
The list is endless.
The freeze is almost like a monopoly which has the full support of the government. Last Sunday, taking advantage of Sunday opening, I tried to do my Christmas shopping. It was a failure. Now I understand why more and more people in the Balearics are doing their shopping on the Internet.

Jason Moore

Dome MK II

“A definite maybe” is the only way to describe the British government's statement yesterday about the plans for a national soccer and athletics stadium. Wembley has been confirmed as the choice of the Football Association – surprise, surprise – and the government says it will back it provided that the FA shows it is capable of managing what Tessa Jowell, the minister concerned, called “this enormously complex project”. If by next April the many still outstanding problems about Wembley are not satisfactorily resolved the government might transfer its support to Birmingham – or might decide to wash its hands of the whole affair, leaving England without a national stadium to its name. Many people will think that Birmingham should have been the first and only choice. It is geographically central and the businessmen and local authorities of Britain's second city have demonstrated that they have the necessary vision and competence to handle a project of this kind by the way they have developed the National Exhibition Centre over the past thirty years.

Ms Jowell, who is far from being an impressive parliamentary performer, was not able to tell the House of Commons yesterday why Wembley is such an “enormously complicated project”. Other countries are able to put up national stadiums quickly and satisfactorily in the time that it has taken the government and the Football Association to argue about the project. Too many people have been involved from the start and too many special interests have been pursued. If the government is not careful it will have a second Dome–type disaster on its hands.

Monitor

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