Sunday, November 06, 2016

Christmas Comes Early To The Tourism Ministry

Bon Nadal. A bit early admittedly, but some were saying it. The Mallorcan hoteliers, for instance. Alvaro Nadal, rather than, say, Rafa, was handed tourism by Super Mariano, now anointed - by PSOE - as president (prime minister) for life. With a name like Nadal, some were foolish enough to think that a Mallorcan boy had done good and climbed to the top of the tourism mountain. They were wrong. Alvaro is every bit a member of the Madrid cartel as mostly all others are within the PP's high command.

Inma Benito, president of the Mallorca Hoteliers People's Party, is never slow to recognise a soul mate whose aversion to an ecotax is such that his facial expression suggests a bad smell at its very mention. This disgust can melt into a look of vague warmth when addressing the vexed issue of IVA (VAT). Yes, he has said to the delight of the nation's hotelier parties, a super-reduced rate for hoteliers would be good, knowing full well that Super won't sanction it and nor indeed would Brussels. 

Alvaro is the closest thing that the Balearics have to a man on Super's council of war, i.e. the cabinet, already forming a circle of wagons in preparation for the missiles to be launched that will be the consequence of governing with 39.14% Congress representation. He is only close because of his name, which is purely the result of reproductive fluke. This Nadal has never opened a tennis academy in Manacor or played for Real Mallorca. He's an economics boffin, hewn from the capital's academia.

Despite this absence of Mallorcan connection, there were others who were swift to praise his appointment. Jaime "Two Paellas" Martínez, the gastronomic-promoting former minister of Balearic tourism, opined that Nadal would be very positive for the Balearics. Jaime could afford to lavish praise. While his name had mysteriously been mentioned as a possible national tourism minister, he was always a rank outsider, given that there's the investigation into the small matter of the money his local ministry forked out to demolish the Rocamar in Soller. Better odds had been on J.R., if only because Bauzá had opened the book on himself. In truth, the ex-Balearic president was never destined to be anywhere near the short list.

And the truth was that he knew that his name was not to be announced by Super on Thursday. The day before, he had chaired a meeting of the PP in his home town of Marratxi. Next to him, somewhat bewilderingly, was Sebastià Sagreras, the mayor of Campos and general secretary of the party in the Balearics but also one of the principal wielders of the knife in the back that ended with Bauzá being exiled to the Senate. Everyone at that meeting, including J.R., knew by then that his self-promotion as tourism minister had been a complete disaster. And when Inma announced that Nadal's appointment was "very good news", another knife was stuck into the Bauzá heart. She would not have said the same had J.R. been given the job.

He'll keep lingering like an unwanted guest at a party, but the party won't take him back. He needs to come to terms with that fact.

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