The Arran attack
Despite it having taken place on 22 July, the anti-tourist "attack" by Arran on a restaurant in Palma wasn't publicised until the middle of last week. As the news broke about it, by coincidence we had already run a feature on incidents involving Arran in Barcelona and had considered this radical youth organisation's extreme-left political affiliations.
Tourists on a sightseeing bus in Barcelona, confronted by hooded men, thought there was a terrorist attack. It was a form of terrorism in that it terrorised the tourists concerned. Arran, it seemed fairly obvious, were latching onto anti-tourism sentiment in promoting themselves. We described them as being opportunists, and the former mayor of Palma, José Hila, was to say the same. Their association with the CUP, a hard-left pro-independence party in Catalonia, explains some of their protests in the past, which hadn't been aimed at tourists. Now, however, they were exploiting the publicity surrounding saturation and so on in grabbing greater publicity for themselves.
The initial reaction to news of the Arran attack from the Balearic government and Palma town hall was negligible, so much so that we ran an article headed "Condemn the silence". Finally on Friday, Palma's mayor and his predecessor spoke out, as did the tourism minister, Biel Barceló. But there should have been firm condemnatory statements much earlier, rather than a wishy-washy one from the tourism director general, which was all there was, except those from opposition parties in Palma and in parliament.
Saturation and the public
The saturation theme was a subject of the latest survey of public opinion about tourism by the Gadeso foundation: 80% perceived that there is saturation. Under half (48%) of those surveyed agreed that tourism is the basis for their well-being. Even allowing for the possibility that some of the respondents don't work directly in the tourism industry, this was still a fairly surprising finding. The same can be said for a mere 22% believing that tourism generates jobs.
The heat last week was almost unbearable. Some extraordinary temperatures were recorded overnight - up in the thirties in the early hours of the mornings. Daytime temperatures of plus 40C (the maximum having been 41.7C) were not unheard of and had a way to go to match the all-time record of 44.2C. But with high humidity as well, the weather was pretty insufferable.
This summer is the third in succession which has been exceptionally hot (it may turn out to be the hottest of all). Against this background, we looked at the anxieties being created by climate change. Majorca doesn't experience the same extremes as parts of the mainland, such as Murcia, where a process of desertification is already evident. We cited research which forecasts that in seventy years time, half of the Iberian Peninsula, below a line from Lisbon to Alicante, will be desert.
Crime in Calvia
Calvia, which never tires of releasing information showing how well the police are doing in dealing with crime and breaches of bylaws in Magalluf and elsewhere, let it be known that charges for illegal selling had risen in July by almost 40% to a total of 651. Which was fine, but as everyone knows, charging someone for illegal selling is not the same as stopping it or indeed ever hoping to extract any fines. Arrests of illegal sellers engaged in the sale of drugs were up, which was perhaps more positive information. Meanwhile, the latest crime statistics revealed that overall crime in Calvia was down over the first six months of the year. Otherwise, it was up in the Balearics by nearly 4%.
More records broken at the airport
And the airport was constantly in the news. We are by now used to all the stuff about passport control queues, although the complaints about these really aren't at the level they were before additional police were drafted in. But queues in general are almost inevitable given the high numbers of passengers. Records for July were broken, and August may well mean the same.
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