More strikes, empty shelves and new traffic laws

By | November 17, 2023
More strikes, empty shelves and new traffic laws

Tougher Traffic Laws

One of the toughest shake-ups in Spanish traffic law came into force on Monday. There are upwards of 50 new rules, and the fines are more severe than ever. Simply holding your mobile phone in your hand while driving will incur a six-point loss on your licence, together with a 200-euro fine. Incorrect, or lack of, use of a seatbelt, child seat, or helmet, will lose you four points and cost 200 euros. And there is now zero alcohol tolerance for under-18s driving any vehicle – including VMPs (electric scooters and so on) – punishable with a 500-euro fine. Other regulations relate to the throwing of objects from your vehicle (six points and 500 euros), neglecting to maintain a minimum 1.5 metre distance, or failing to change lanes, while passing cyclists (six points and 200 euros) and, heaven forbid, cheating in your driving test (500 euros).

First Truckers, Now Fishermen

The week started with yet another strike, this time on the part of the Islands’ fishermen. Also disgruntled with rising fuel prices, the 16 Balearic fishermen associations agreed to down nets, starting from Monday. They warned that fresh fish would soon be in short supply. Fortunately, the walkout was done and dusted by Wednesday as the Spanish Government proposed measures such as the temporary elimination of port taxes in State-managed ports, credit lines of up to 30,000 euros, and an as-yet unspecified aid package to help offset the fuel burden. The three-day wrangle is said to have cost 456,000-euros-worth of catches.

Trouble for Tolkein Trailer

Proving that neither elves nor hobbits are above the law, the National Police are taking action against the producers of a trailer for upcoming Amazon Prime Series – The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power. Organisers hired Castell de Bellver for a private event on February 13 band used a drone to capture live aerial footage that was then broadcast on main US TV stations in a Super Bowl ad break. Not only was the drone operator lacking permission to fly, but an attempt had also been made to deceive officers with a flight number that neither matched the date nor the device. A fine will be issued.

All Change at Real Mallorca

On the back of six consecutive match defeats and a fractured locker room, RCD Mallorca coach Luis García Plaza was dismissed on Tuesday. The La Liga side hadn’t won a game since 15 February and now sits in the relegation zone – third from bottom. Barely was his seat in the dugout cold when contracts were signed with Javier Aguirre. A specialist in bringing clubs back from the brink, the Mexican was presented as the new coach at Visit Mallorca Estadi on Thursday afternoon. The veteran will be in charge until the end of the season, with the option to keep him for another – provided they remain in the top flight.

Rafa Out

Defeated by Taylor Fritz in the Indian Wells final last Saturday, homegrown tennis ace Rafael Nadal is now set to miss up to six weeks of action through injury. At the time, Rafa complained of chest pain and struggling to breathe, and has since been diagnosed with a stress crack in one of his ribs. The winner of 21 Grand Slam singles titles said on Twitter: “It’s not good news and I didn’t expect this. I’m gutted and sad because after the start of the season I’ve had such a good time. I was coming into a very important part of the year with very good feelings and good results. But well, I’ve always had that spirit of fighting and overcoming, and what I will do is have patience and work hard after my recovery”.

Reassurance from easyJet

Despite ongoing war in Ukraine and associated increase in fuel costs, no-frills titan easyJet announced this week that fares would not be upwardly adjusted. The airline’s Director General in Southern Europe, Javier Gándara, restored traveller confidence by saying that it had around 60% of its kerosene needs up to September assured at a very good price – less than half of what is being paid in the market now. For this reason, he hoped that the impact of rising fuel prices would be minor – for summer at least. As for the longer term, he couldn’t predict, but things could be volatile. From air to sea, and Baleària divulged on Thursday that bookings for this summer were up 30% on last year. The ferry operator’s president attributed this to: “an explosion in demand from the Spanish market”.

Supermarkets in Supply Struggle

Although a satisfactory deal has been reached between Balearic truckers and Francina Armengol’s Government, the hauliers’ strike continues on mainland with knock-on effects for the Islands’ supermarkets. Empty shelves are becoming more commonplace, and the sale of certain products is having to be limited. Chicken, oil and dairy products are being cited as those under greatest pressure. Supermarkets are switching to local suppliers to try and plug the gaps, although it’s not quite enough.

Love Island Villa Sold

According to the oracle that is The Sun newspaper, the original Love Island villa has recently sold for three million pounds. The star of series one and two, the five-bedroom property in Santanyi was on the market for a year before being snapped up. Meanwhile, the TV series is moving on from its Sant Llorenç des Cardassar location of series three and four, and on the hunt for a new love nest for summer 2022. Filming will start in June.

Drunken Bum

And finally, a woman from Hereford is trying to get to the bottom of a story involving a tattoo on her posterior. Ten years ago, Kaylie Williams was on a girls’ holiday in Magalluf and, having made acquaintance with a group of stags (dressed as babies no less), spontaneously had the name ‘Daniel Forde’ tattooed on her left buttock. (Alcohol was involved.) Daniel returned to Cardiff the next day and she’s never seen or heard from him since. A decade later, Kaylie would like to meet the mystery man. Do you know him?