The recent heavy rains have taught the Balearics a lesson, the present drainage system needs to be overhauled to avoid the massive amount of flooding. A fair comment, no doubt. The only problem is that I have made this comment at least 10 times over the last five years and still the island is flooded every time there is a heavy downpour. The scenes at Palma airport last Saturday in which travellers had to literally splash their way into the terminal building with heavy luggage cannot be repeated. And before you say that heavy rains are not usual at this time of the year I would remind you that there is even a name for them in the Majorcan language, literally the Cold Drop which hit Majorca at this time of the year. Granted the rains have come earlier this year but that is still not an excuse for properly fixing the drainage system. Also, I watched in amazement as thousands of litres of rain was allowed to just pour into the sea. Okay, if the island had a surplus of water then it wouldn't be a problem but it doesn't. Just ask the Balearic government which has been forced to spend millions of euros on desalination plants. You can't blame the present administration for the drainage problems; this state of affairs stretches way back to the days when the islands were ruled by the Partido Popular. Before the Balearic government starts embarking on any more ambitious programmes to “radically overhaul the islands” they should make sure that their house is in order. Start from the bottom and work up. Once the drains are fixed then check the roof. I know drains aren't exactly vote winners but they are vitally needed.

Jason Moore

Don't moan about the absent few

When we are at home with our family and those who are close we can talk freely make statements, be rude and nothing happens. However, when you have guests you act in a different manner glossing over past disputes and generally being friendly and welcoming. I therefore think it's terribly rude of us to be involved in this awful exchange of words involving the state of the tourist industry this year. And I will tell you why. When you invite 10 people to dinner and only seven show up it is very rude to spend the whole dinner discussing why the other three haven't come and how better things would have been if they had. This is exactly what we are doing this summer, moaning about the absent few and not thinking about those who are here. If I was one of the dinner guests and we spent the whole evening talking about those who are absent, I would just get up and walk out. It's as simple as that because you would get the impression that the owner of the house was only interested in the missing few.

Rather than thanking the tourists who have come to our shores we spend all the time talking about those who haven't come. You have to remember that tourists read the local media and they have seen the stories about the tourist tax, the fall in tourism, the talk of recession, etc. It is so rude.

Also, blaming the tourist tax for the drop in tourism this year is laughable. It's like blaming the tourist tax for the fall in shares prices in London, Madrid, New York and Tokyo. As I say, laughable. One thing for sure is that there is an economic slowdown in the United States and in Europe it naturally affects these islands. As a result there are fewer visitors this year and those who are coming are spending less. Our businesspeople must realise this. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to understand that the economic slowdown will hit holiday sales. The best thing to do would be to avoid making further statements about the industry and get down to work for the good of the Balearics, trying out new ideas and new concepts. We must work like we used to when our tourist industry was respected across the world. In those days we didn't dislike tourists, the completely reverse, we respected them.

Mercedes Truyols. Director of the Tourist Information Office.

Don't let pick pockets ruin your holiday

Dear Sir,
Having just returned from our annual holiday in Santa Ponsa, I would like to make two points that could have spoilt my holiday.
I feel I must warn everyone of the dangers of pick pockets that are operating all around the island.
I was quite lucky in the fact that I caught the assailant in the process of removing my wallet from my pocket, she will now have a very sore arm and head for no reward.

It is all too easy to forget that this scum operates in all areas where there are people.
So don't let thieves spoil your holiday (it didn't mine) watch your valuables.
My second point was the rather annoying noise from these small motor cycles and scooters, they sound like a frightened bee whizzing up and down the streets all day and night, I feel a police presence in some of the residential areas of Santa Ponsa stopping these annoying little mopeds, will at least give some of us a good nights sleep.

Allan Bennett. Yorkshire, England. By e-mail

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