Balearics news selection from the last seven days and upcoming items including unemployment drops, winning gin, shopping boost, wifi on the beaches and a night raid on an Ibiza hotel. Published on Tuesdays.
Unemployment down across the islands in March
According to a report by the Ministry of Employment and Social Security, the number of people registered as unemployed on the Balearic Islands has fallen by 10,627 in March, a decrease of 12.4 per cent compared to the same month in 2015.
The reduction in the number of unemployed during February was 6.48 per cent.
Of the total of registered unemployed in the Balearic Islands, 58,328 correspond to the services sector, 8,157 in construction, 3,817 had no previous employment, 3,316 are from the industrial sector and 1,473 are agricultural.
With regard to new jobs on the Islands there were 33,620 contracts in March, a 32.16 per cent increase over the same month in 2014, with 8,181 more. Of the total, 5,441 were permanent and 28,179 temporary.
Currently on the Islands, 79,607 people receive unemployment benefits.
Textile sales up in Mallorca
Sales of clothing, footwear and accessories sales rose in 23 per cent of businesses in Mallorca during March compared to the same month last year, according to a survey conducted by Pimeco, l’Associació de Petit i Mitjà Comerç de Mallorca (Association of Small and Medium Businesses Mallorca).
69 per cent of these businesses reported similar figures to 2014 while 8 per cent reported a decrease. Compared to February, 23% of traders in the textile sector showed an increase in March, 39% sold the same and 38% fared worse.
The positive figures make it the best first quarter in terms of sales and customer acquisition since the credit crunch began. The period analysed also ranks as the best March of the economic crisis, tied with March 2010 and surpassing the average of the last 9 years said Pimeco.
Data analysts suggest the results point to tentaive signs of recovery in commercial activity.
Journalist dies, aged 52
Bartomeu Picornell Yanes, born in Lloret in 1962 died on Monday April 6 aged 52.
Bartomeu had been suffering with ill health for some months although he continued to work at the newspaper ARA Balears right up until the end. His last article, Blanquerna, was published in the paper just two days previously. He had been with ARA Balears since 1996.
Bartomeu also held a position of Head of Planning for Palma with the government of Aina Calvo. He was one of those that pushed for the installation of cycle lanes on the island.
ARA Balears described the loss as: “an impossible gap to fill.”
A service will be held this evening (Tuesday April 7) at the Tanatorio Son Valenti de Palma from 5.30 to 8.30pm.
Wifi on the beaches
Beaches including Arenal d’en Castell, Cala Galdena and Son Bou are to benefit from an investment of €235,000 to install free wifi.
The announcement was made as the Directorate General of Innovation and Technological Development of the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness opened a new line of support, armed with €235,000 for the expansion of broadband in hard to reach areas including beaches.
Priority will be given to cover coastal areas or beaches of great affluence, including Magaluf, Cala Millor y Cala Bona, Illetes y Cala Major, Playa d’en Repic (Sóller), Puerto de Alcudia, Cala Fons, Son Bou, Arenal d’en Castell, Cala Galdana, Playa d’en Bossa, Salines o Illetes and Formentera, according to a statement released by the Ministry.
Head of Innovation and Technological Development, Antoni Mateos, stressed that such initiatives encourage and provide it with more speed, and more amenities to residents, while “facilitating internet in tourist and rural areas.” He continued, “The objective of the investment aid for infrastructure Broadband is to encourage the development of this infrastructure and civil engineering works related in areas where there are no comparable infrastructure nor likely to need to be developed by market players in the near future.”
Menorca gin gets gold medal
Menorca gin Xoriguer has earned a gold medal in the San Francisco World Spirits competition.
The event, one of the largest in the world, was held at the Hotel Nikko in the US city with the participation of 1,580 attendees from a hundred different countries.
The competition, which reached its fifteenth edition, tripled this year participation in the category of gins, for a total of 134. After deliberation of the judges, nine of them obtained a recognition, including Gin Xoriguer, which has achieved the gold.
“For us it is great news. The medal is recognition of our gin, its method of preparation and its peculiar flavour, as well as a boost to the commitment we have made with the US market,”exclaimed Adolfo Vilafranca, CEO of Xoriguer distillery.
This recognition for the Menorcan gin joins one recently received by a US trade publication, which included it in an article giving a remarkable assessment.
The company began exporting Xoriguer Distilleries to the United States in the summer of 2014.
Rural hotel raided by hooded thieves
At least three thieves crept into the Rural hotel complex Atzaró in Santa Eulàlia, restrained the night security guard and accessed the safe in just a few minutes. They escaped with several thousand euros in cash.
A spokesman from Atzaró and officers from the Guardia Civil confirmed the incident. The guard was tied up but unharmed and the entire operation was so quiet that none of the hotel’s guests were aware.
Workers arriving for their morning shift discovered the security guards and were able to notify the police. The Guardia Civil and the Judicial Police attended the scene, where they questioned the security guard and collected evidence.
The Atzaró spokesman remained fairly tight-lipped with regard to the exact amount stolen in order not to prejudice the investigation. However, he added that this was the first incident of its type during the 11 years that the complex had been in operation.
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Elle, along with Alan, is the owner of Spain Buddy and the busy web design business – Spain Web Design by Gandy-Draper.
Born a “Norverner”, she then spent most of her life “Dann Saff” before moving to Spain in 2006. Elle’s loves are Alan, the internet, dogs, good food, and dry white wine – although not necessarily in that order.