Sunday, January 28, 2018

Mallorca's Frankenstein And Dracula

Frankenstein's daughter, we have learned from one quarter, is the Council's Great Map Of Mallorca's Zones. Frankenstein himself, in a Mallorcan touristic style, was invented by Biel Barceló, a minister with a moderate grasp of tourism reality, who has been replaced by a school teacher with no grasp at all. Biel's Frankenstein was cobbled together by Podemos, who managed to initially wreck what was already the considerable wreckage of the holiday rentals legislation.

The daughter of Frankenstein, the Great Map, has yet to be fully activated. In true Mallorcan political style, it has been given "initial" approval by the Council, which means that it has in fact been fully approved but that the Council needs to undertake the charade known as "public consultation". Town halls, Aptur, GOB and all others will make their submissions, will have press conferences at which they condemn the whole process, and at the end of all this, the Great Map will be as it ever was.

In order to fully activate it, however, a grand ceremony will be required. The Great Map will be transported to Lluc Monastery. Mick of the Council, donning something suitably Druidic, will raise his arms, incant the Sibil-la and invoke the spirits of Ramon Llull and the Black Madonna. Lightning will strike the two bolts attached to the Great Map and result in an apocalyptic fire that wipes out most of the protected "rustic" land of Escorca, thus rendering the Partido Popular mayor's wish for holiday rentals on this land redundant.

By Mick's side will be the other Frankenstein's daughter: the daughter of Francina, Mercedes of the Council. Mercedes, in line to inherit the PSOE Earth from Francina, has spent her entire time since being put in charge of Mallorca's land contending with saturation of one form or another. It was Mercedes who came up with the idea for shuttle buses for beaches and other parts of the island. The town halls weren't all impressed with that idea either, and we discovered last week that the shuttle bus that will save Formentor from its fate of being overrun by tourists can't operate until the transport ministry has sorted out the new bus service concessions. Oh well, never mind.

Mercedes' potential elevation to the status of New Frankenstein as leader of PSOE does appear to owe something to the fact that a principal challenger, Iago at employment, can't do the Catalan thing with total fluency. It makes one wonder, given Catalan correctness within the government, how Iago ever came to be a minister when he insists on going around and speaking Castellano. One does, though, appreciate why he wasn't made health minister. It wouldn't really do for him to now be informing nurses that if they don't attain B2 level Catalan, they'll be out of a job. And informing them, moreover, in Castellano.

This slight, how can one put it, lack of linguistic policy consistency is nothing compared with the PP's lack of consistency regarding holiday rentals. A Damascene conversion has been experienced by some within the party, not least its nominal leader, Biel Company. Gone are the days when Jaime "Two Paellas" Martínez would studiously ignore requests for a more liberalised approach. The PP now appear to have nailed their blue colours to the blue mast of the Great Map and wish to make the whole of Mallorca blue, i.e. no restrictions and rentals 365 days a year everywhere. Which helps to explain why Antoni Solivellas, the mayor of Escorca, wishes to turn the protected green of the municipality into a nice PP blue: the part of Escorca remaining habitable, that is, following the Great Fire of the Great Map.

Because of their previous form in having sided one hundred per cent with their hotelier chums, the PP really do have some brass neck in now pursuing opportunistic opposition to the Great Map. They have stuck their own two bolts into their neck and become their own Frankenstein. But while they've been doing this, who should emerge from his own ashes than none other than J.R. Bauzá? Yes, the PP's resident Count Dracula is back for another go. Not content with the humiliations he has suffered since being exiled to Madrid and generally spurned by everyone, including most of the PP, Dracula wants to sink his teeth into the Balearics once again.

"We want Bauzá in the political front line." "We are with Bauzá". "Values in action". These are the messages that J.R. has probably himself come up with in calling the negligible faithful to a gathering at a Palma restaurant.

So, while Dracula jockeys for a renewed position at the head of the PP and Frankenstein's daughter continues her advance to the PSOE leadership, we are left with Més. And what's their problem? Well, neither the school teaching tourism minister, Bel, or Mother Santiago at social services is going to be able to pull the different factions together. A compromise candidate to run for the presidency next year would now appear to be Alaro's mayor, Guillem Balboa. And that candidacy, for once, would be something that the whole of Mallorca could be proud of.

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