Bar Cristal, which closed last week.

04-09-2017Jaume Morey

False claims
Arrests last week will not bring an end to the false holiday sickness compensation claims. Even before the arrests, Abta was warning of a potential increase in claims to coincide with the end of the main summer season: the claims farmers in the UK will be busy going about their disgraceful practices in encouraging holidaymakers to commit fraud.

There was, nevertheless, a sense of satisfaction and achievement - this achievement being all the Guardia Civil's. But at the Bulletin we had highlighted the scams back in 2015 before they started to be given any real coverage in the mainstream Spanish news media. The background to this was what was going on in Alcudia. When the Guardia picked up two people in Alcudia in May this year, there was satisfaction, and it was felt by a wider community than just hoteliers. There had been indignation among residents and businesses about what was happening, and that indignation was made known. Jaime Barceló, the Guardia colonel-in-chief, stressed that the "real work" starts now. It is now down to the legal process.


Drugs and Calvia policing
It was a bad week for Britons allegedly behaving with criminal intent in Calvia. The Guardia Civil drew more plaudits for its determination in dealing with drugs crimes. Twelve Britons were sent to prison and will await trial for the sale of cocaine and other drugs: these were principally being sold along Punta Ballena in Magalluf. Calvia's mayor, Alfonso Rodríguez, said that the arrests of the drug pushers was "excellent news".

Meanwhile, Calvia police issued its monthly update of charges for petty illegality - breaches of the municipal bylaw on coexistence and behaviour. Which was all fair enough, but as always there was a conspicuous absence from the news of successes by the local police and the state security forces: the mugging prostitutes. They are a continuing blight and menace. People have been demanding action for years. They still are, and the violence only seems to be getting worse.


Tiresome "massification"
The demonstration against so-called tourist "massification" is to take place on 23 September. The government said it was unnecessary. Its policies, e.g. a doubling of the tourist tax, are designed to address massification. The government says one thing, then another. The tourist tax can either be about seeking tourist limits or it can be about boosting tax revenue. The government's credibility has been shot because of its inconsistency. We thought the demo was unnecessary as well. Hasn't everyone got the massification message by now? It's all frankly a bit tiresome now, but then never underestimate GOB, Arran, Podemos and others in keeping the ball rolling.

Related to the massification theme are the conditions of workers in the tourism sector. One of the groups that will be at the demo, Endavant, accused the departing president of the Majorca Hoteliers Federation of being an "exploiter" of workers for having suggested that the workload of hotel chambermaids - "Las Kellys" - was not excessive. Also related is the whole issue of holiday rentals and of course the tourist tax. We took a look at both and the type of rules that apply elsewhere. Notable among these was a fine of the equivalent of 400 euros in Croatia for a holidaymaker who stays in an unlicensed holiday rental. That's because the holidaymaker will not have been registered with the police. Croatia's law is a lot tighter in this respect than it is in Majorca and Spain.

We also considered the contribution of Dr. Ivan Murray from the University of the Balearic Islands. Highly respected, Dr. Murray is, we felt, "an academic darling figure for the eco-left". We mentioned an interview he had given to the Público website in which he spoke about "de-growth", which has anti-capitalist connotations and queries the notion of unlimited growth, as with, for instance, tourism. As so often with this debate about tourism, there were the unanswered questions. De-growth to what? What is the alternative prescription?


In other news, the iconic Bar Cristal on Plaça Espanya in Palma closed its doors, a victim, so it was suggested, of a shifting tourism dynamic in the city. A meeting-point for the people of Palma and indeed the rest of Majorca, it was just the latest in a line of traditional bars that have fallen by the wayside.

And back in Calvia, the town hall said that it will change its bylaws so that electric scooters are in effect banned. There'll be plenty of people in Magalluf who will be thankful for this.

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Richard Pearson / Hace 2 months

Everybody complains but then they walk past and go to 100 Montaditos, nearly next door, for a beer and a tapa for € 1 -

The reason they are closing is that the long term lease has finally expired, and the owners, one of whom used to be a Palma mayor, quite reasonably want to be paid for what it is worth.

+2-

John P / Hace 2 months

Sad news, but will be others,if don't want tourists can the local population sustain all Palma bars.Can not have it all ways,perhaps those going on about massification and demos against tourists should perhaps stop to think,or,is it that they simply do not care about unemployment which is inevitable.Will those associated with GOB,Arran ,etc have the guts to explain face to face with those who have lost jobs at Bar Cristal and others to come how good it actually is for the island!

+3-

D j leahy / Hace 2 months

Absolutely disastrous news this iconic bar has closed. Part of Palmas heritage. Sad news indeed.

+2-