Thoughts on Spain

Oliver Chases Ocean at Camp de Mer Beach

A few observations about Spain

  • The roads of the island have improved greatly since I was last here in 1997. Not only the roads, but the kilometers of bike and running paths. They are everywhere! This is great, but I wonder about the cost. For example, the pedestrian bridge over the highway must have been in the tens of thousands of dollars. I have also seen amazing municipal sports facilities. Near the suburb of Son Caliu where we are staying, there is a community swimming pool in Magaluf, an athletic track in Palma Nova, and an indoor pool and artificial turf soccer field in Santa Ponca. Who is paying for all this?
  • Last night about 9:30 PM, I went out looking to buy some milk, water, and bread. I could not find a single store open, only restaurants. The Latin American neighborhood “tienda” is not to be found in Spain. There is also a lack of outdoor markets.
  • Recycling seems to be very strong in Spain. I’ve seen glass, plastic, and metal bins conveniently located all over the island.
  • Spain consists of “Autonomous Communities” and it is not one legislative district. I thought it was only the Basque Country and Catalonia, but there are 17 “states” including the Balearic Islands. They had a graphic in the Mallorcan paper that showed the Spanish debt divided by autonomous region. The largest debtors are Cataluña and Comunidad Valenciana, that combined have 60% of total 36 billion euro debt.
  • One of the Spanish Royal family is under investigation for transferring funds to a Swiss bank account to avoid taxes. I feel royalty is an outdated concept. The idea that a family, and whoever marries into the family, is somehow special or made to rule by divine right is ridiculous. I don’t understand what benefits European countries get from having the tax payers support monarchies. Perhaps the English royal family brings in enough tourist dollars to justify their existence, but I can’t believe the rest are self-sufficient. I would strip them of all titles, make them get real jobs, and convert all assests into the public good.
Camp de Mer Beach – Mallorca, Spain


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