I sometimes wonder whether the people that work in Government actually have a grip on real life and think they are above the law. I’m talking both here in Spain and back in the UK. The UK had the situation earlier in the year of Dominic Cummings the Chief adviser to Boris Johnson breaking lockdown rules by driving from London to Durham with his family when everyone was told to stay at home. Over here in Mallorca the Balearic President Francina Armengol was “allegedly” seen out in a bar after the curfew time of 1am. Neither have resigned or fined as far as I am aware which I’m sure wouldn’t have been the case if it was me or you.
Now there doesn’t seem to be many countries whose Governments have handled this Covid crisis well. But both the UK and Spain are two of the worst.
Here in Spain, although tough I thought the lockdown was needed earlier in the year, but because of pressure to reopen particularly the economy we are now suffering a heavier second wave. In the UK they were slower to react so the recovery was slower but likewise pressure to reopen the economy has led to another heavier second wave.
Another great saying is “reading the room” which once again I think neither Government has done in the latest news. In the Uk the Marcus Rashford and free school meals is a current hot potato(forgive the pun). They’ve already reversed it once so what made them think this time would be any different?
Over here they’ve done something even worse in my opinion. Firstly it’s worth noting that here in Spain we are run by a coalition Government which never works. Each party are in it for themselves so a 100% agreement on anything hardly ever happens. The Government moved this week for a new state of alarm, different to the one before with the main element being a nighttime curfew of 12 midnight to 6am. That’s here in Mallorca and each region decides on their hours.
Now they have asked for it to be extended to May 2021. Tourism in Spain as a whole accounts for 12% of the country’s GDP. But if you’re in a tourist region like us in Mallorca that number is a lot higher, 44% directly and 85% indirectly. So who in their right mind would want to extend it to May next year? Take it to the end of year fine and reset and see where you are. Remember that the peak holiday booking period is January so how many people are going to be put off coming here if there may or may not be a state of alarm in progress? The lunatics have taken over the asylum. Also give the people living here some hope because the negativity is overwhelming. I am aware that we can change our status like the Canaries have done but that is down to the rate of contagion. Don’t be surprised that the Canaries start having problems down the line with so many people wanting some warm weather. Although I do hope that’s not the case and they get through it. Our Government should be watching and even going there to get experience to bring back here.
Compare and contrast all that to Lloyd Milen the British Consul General to Catalonia, the Balearic Islands, Aragon and Andorra. I’ve met and interviewed him on many occasions and he always has great advice to pass on to our listeners. In fact the websites that they have are very useful and informative.
The most important things for us to concentrate on between now and Brexit are.
Register as a resident.
Register for Healthcare.
Passport up to date.
Swap you UK Driving Licence for a Spanish one.
Apply for your TIE identity card.
Remembering that there are quite a few official holidays between now and the end of the year. So don’t leave it to the last minute!
Now I promise you this is not a blatant plug for my birthday next Wednesday but I wanted to tell you more about Brad Robertson and the amazing team at Save the Med. Their mission, to enable the Mediterranean Sea to recover its rich biodiversity and to thrive in harmony with prospering, environmentally conscious and proactive local populations. I met Brad after a mutual friend asked me to reach out to him as he was doing some great work on the island. I did and have interviewed him on many occasions. In 2018 we donated 3,719.62€ from our Radiothon to help the projects they had in place at that time.
One of the projects they are currently working on is “Med Ghost Fads”. Each year, over 800.000 tons of illegal ghost gear enter the marine ecosystem, causing entanglement of hundreds of thousands of marine animals and seabirds and capturing over one third of the global fish catch. The project ‘Med Ghost FADs‘ aims to unite key actors and stakeholders to stop the alarming increase of ghost gear in the Mediterranean, a destructive fishing method which is threatening to reverse the positive effects of over 40 years of conservation work in the area. You only have to see some of the images to see the harm this is doing. Go to the Save the Med website for more information on that and all the other projects they have going on.
They rely on grants, private investment support and donations. On Facebook you can choose a charity to donate to on your birthday and I thought they should benefit for mine. So if you can help that will be great. I am Richard Prior on Facebook. Thank You!
Take care everyone and enjoy your weekend!
Richie presents the Radio One Mallorca Breakfast show Monday to Friday 07.30-11.00am on 93.8fm in Mallorca and 102fm in Calvià, online at www.radioonemallorca.com on mobile through their free App for IPhone & Android, The Tunein Radio App, iTunes, the Spanish TDT TV service and all smart speakers. If you can’t hear him on the radio then you’ll find him working at Pirates Adventure the islands number one night out and every now and again he may make an understudy appearance!
Follow him on Twitter @DadTaxi1 & Instagram @dad.taxi or feel free to email him at firstname.lastname@example.org