Dear Editor,
Having eagerly collected our tickets, ordered our currency and began to excitedly pack our cases for our second visit to your island this year the news that low bookings are causing many hotels to close early is causing us some concern.

Will our favourite bars and restaurants still be open to serve us? Will we experience the same friendly unhurried service we have grown to love? and more importantly will the news put off more people from booking for half term as we have done.

Your comments please.

Joanne Pitchford. Bolton Lancashire.

Editor's reply:
I never thought that I would have to answer a question on whether or not Majorca is worth visiting. Yes, some hotels are closing early and yes it has been, for some, a season to forget. However, I feel that the present state of affairs in Majorca is worth putting into perspective. Thanks to you Mrs. Pitchford and millions of other British tourists Majorca will be able to weather the present storm which has hit the German market badly and as a result has led to the early closure of many hotels. The loyal British market has kept Majorca on track and you will find that all your favourite bars and restaurants are open for business and offering you the same quality and service which you know and love.

Of course it is worth visiting Majorca. I myself holiday here every year and as you know, you can have a really fantastic time. My advice to you is to discover Majorca and perhaps hire a car or take advantage of the excellent rail service which now exists. It is amazing what you can find. Last summer I visited Pollensa market for the first time and I must say that I was deeply impressed. Absolutely first class and all items are cheaply priced. Try Majorcan and Spanish food, there are a wide range of restaurants across the island where you will be able to find typical wholesome Majorcan cuisine which is relatively cheaply priced. A dinner for two will cost you the same as two rounds of drinks at Heathrow. Visit and attend the large number of cultural centres, historic buildings and events which appear daily in this newspaper's What's On Guide. Sample the night-life, you will find that it is much more relaxed and cheerful than what you will find in Britain. Sit yourself down on Magalluf beach, you will discover that the area is a lot more enjoyable than you probably think. The list is endless. I have lived in Majorca for the past 25 years and I am still finding new and interesting places to visit. Please, don't be put off by some of the alarmist statements which are presently being made by some people who are looking ahead to the local elections next year or are more concerned with other political problems and the subsequent infight. Majorca is without doubt one of the finest places in the world (closely followed by Minorca). I am sure you will have a great time and I would urge others planning a half term holiday to follow suit. If you find that the island is not up to standard (which I sincerely doubt) please contact me and I feel sure that I will be able to point you in the right direction.

Yours sincerely

Jason Moore, editor

Raising the flag

With nationalist feeling creeping in across Spain including the Balearics and especially in the Basque Country and Cataluña (which both have nationalist regional governments) Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar has introduced a monthly flag raising ceremony in Madrid. We are talking about a rather large flag, the biggest in Spain, naturally accompanied by patriotic speeches fitting for the occasion. Aznar is already under fire from the Basques and the Catalans who claim that it is a return to a bygone era. Whether or not the majority of Spaniards are in favour of this show of national pride is unclear but it does give an insight into the great divide which now exists in Spain. I think that Aznar is attempting to put the message, “one nation, one flag” across in an effort to try and silence the nationalist feeling which exists in some provinces. But I suspect he won't be successful because he is just making a bigger rift. The nationalist movement is not going to go away and perhaps his government shouldn't be so forceful and attempt to rule supreme from Madrid with flag and all. In some ways I support his move. In Britain things have gone mad and some councils refuse to fly the Union flag because it might offend the ethnic minorities eventhough it is the flag of the country where they reside. But there can be a balance and this is what Aznar should aim for. Instead of raising just the national flag perhaps the flag of each province could be hoisted in a similar ceremony every month. This would create a greater feeling of union and perhaps might make the fiercely proud, Basques, Catalans etc more aware of the fact that Madrid rules but it still respects their local identity and feelings.

Jason Moore

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