Sunday, September 25, 2016

The Balearic Not-Government Is Revolting

The government and not-government (aka Podemos and increasingly also Més) indulged in their parliamentary navel-gazing and picked out some unpleasant fluff that has accumulated since June last year. The governmental state of the Balearics, we discovered, was far from the consensual love-in that sweet and friendly Francina has been insisting that it is ever since the fateful day that agreements were signed for the "government of change". So absent is consensus that the Earth Mother, PSOE's health minister Patricia Gómez, can dream up 119 million euros (why 119 and not 120?) for dealing with the decaying pile that is Son Dureta with nary a word in the shell-likes of Més (or Podemos). The Mésites were furious. Not because they're against handing over such a vast sum but because no one had spoken to them. Stamp their feet? Oh yes.

And it got worse. What was the government, in this instance PSOE, doing dropping money-laundering charges against that good old boy, Jaume Matas? Strictly speaking, it wasn't the government of PSOE but the Balearic Attorney's Office. Sweet FA Armengol insisted she hadn't been aware of the attorney's decision, which took some believing, given that the office falls within the ministry of the presidency. The Mésites stamped their feet even harder. The decision was of great political significance, they huffed, and had not been reached through consensus. The navel fluff started to look ever more revolting.

Revolt was indeed in the air. And who better to express it than the Podemos Boot Girl, Laura Camargo (Twitter account @Laurarevolta; description "feminist anti-capitalist"). The Matas decision was "very serious", she declared, and insisted that the attorney put in an appearance in parliament in order to explain himself. Also very serious were the thousands, nay millions of tourists roaming across the fragile landscapes of Majorca and the Balearics. Put the tourist tax up, demanded Her Bootness. And the ranks of not-government were joined by the Mésites in the form of the government's vice-president and tourism minister Biel Barceló. BB responded to Laura's tourist tax demand by announcing that "the price of the ecotax is the tool with which to regulate tourist flows".

So, after all his equivocation and having once said that the tax wouldn't make any difference to tourist numbers, BB finally admitted that it might. If it's high enough. It shouldn't be forgotten that Wild Man Més, David Abril, had some months ago suggested that the tax should have been higher from the outset. What can be expected therefore? Ten euros a night from next year? Twenty? That should sort out the saturation and the collapse of the Palma road network every time there's a spot of rain.

Amidst all the revolt, Francina was able to take herself off and sweetly cut the ribbon at the FAN shopping centre, an event which we were led to believe was to be graced with the presence of Podemos president (speaker) of parliament Xe-Lo Huertas. If she was indeed there, she avoided the cameras. Or perhaps she'd sneaked in to snaffle up some early bargains in Primark. The Podemos take on FAN appeared to be revealed by one of its parliamentary deputies, Salvador Aguilera. He tweeted a question (which was re-tweeted by the anti-capitalist Boot Girl). How much will the campaign for promoting FAN have cost, he asked, adding that the Mallorcan press had "succumbed" to the FAN "phenomenon". 

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