Sunday, April 30, 2017

Aena: Listening With Silence

It will be of absolutely no surprise to discover that last week a politician came out with something only partially linked to reality, but even so, what do we make of Biel and the Aena thing? B.B.B., Beleaguered Biel Barceló, had dragged Aena bigwigs (including its president) in for a chat. Things, Biel said afterwards, were fairly positive. Aena was listening to the government, which, for the record, comprised Biel, his oppo at tourism, Pilar Carbonell, and the Pons fellow from transport.

While Aena may have been listening to him (and them), it doesn't seem that they were listening to Aena. During the gathering, according to Biel, the airports authority had very kindly said that there will not be more flights per hour at Palma this summer. This, at any rate, was the first report. It was subsequently modified to Aena had said there won't be any increase this year, which was before Aena themselves realised that they had better speak up. They had said no such thing. They did not promise that there will not be more flights per hour this summer.

How was it that the different government representatives all appeared to have misheard what Aena had said? One guesses that the meeting was in Castellano, so possibly they were a bit slow on the uptake. But one doubts it. They do, after all, get enough practice with Castellano when going off to Madrid to harangue ministers over finance, residents' discounts and what have you. So what was the cause of the misunderstanding? Had Biel just imagined they'd said it, or what?

More peculiar than the apparent misreporting of Aena's words was the total silence from the massed ranks of the rest of the government. Yet, when Aena had first let it be known that more flights per hour were likely, you couldn't keep any of them from having prolonged rants, especially Biel. The increase would, more or less, mean the end of civilisation in Mallorca as we know it. Or it would at least lead to everything collapsing and no one being able to move because of the sheer volume of touristic humanity.

This time, though, not a dicky bird. Why was that, do you suppose? Was it a case of protecting Biel. With the police now hovering over the Més contracts and spying potential irregularities of the possibly corrupt variety, Biel is clinging to the political raft. It was better, therefore, for it to have appeared that Biel had extracted an Aena promise, and then keep mum when it emerged that he hadn't.

The silence, given the prospect of ever greater saturation of tourists, was even more surprising because for most of last week various authorities were taking it in turns to shut things down, like roads leading to beauty-spots and beaches. The way things are going, tourists appear destined to find their every attempt to make it to the coasts blocked by members of the local plods barring their way and brandishing access-denied notices. This of course assumes that there are any roads open that enable them to get as far as ones with road blocks. Yesterday, there weren't any open. Bloody cyclists all over the place and out for one massive bike ride across the island - all 6,000 or so of them.

Index for April 2017

Aena and flights at Palma - 30 April 2017
April start of the season - 1 April 2017
Aurora Picornell - 26 April 2017
Biel Barceló - 17 April 2017
Convair at the airport - 12 April 2017
Davallament - 13 April 2017
Environmental commitment - 20 April 2017
Expatriates - 25 April 2017
Fanny Tur - 9 April 2017
Holiday rentals - 7 April 2017, 18 April 2017, 22 April 2017, 29 April 2017
Jaume Garau and Més - 5 April 2017, 11 April 2017
Kelvin MacKenzie - 16 April 2017
Mediterranean culture - 15 April 2016, 21 April 2017
Palma auditorium - 3 April 2017
Palma, La Palma ... - 10 April 2017
Podemos and their bus - 24 April 2017
Pollensa villas' legality - 4 April 2017
Rules and traditions - 6 April 2017
Ruth Mateu (Més) resignation - 2 April 2017
Sex and Mallorca - 28 April 2017
Too many cars - 27 April 2017
Tourist information offices - 8 April 2017
Tourist tax - 19 April 2017
Wine exports to the USA - 29 April 2017
Zombies and Spanish defence - 23 April 2017

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