1. News from Minkner & Partner
Mallorca is again a safe travel destination since 14.03.2021 - PCR test and quarantine are omitted for Mallorca returnees
On 14.08.2020, the German government had declared Mallorca as a risk area. On their return from the island, Mallorca returnees had to present a negative PCR test and go into quarantine for 10 days, which could be lifted after 5 days at the earliest - after another negative PCR test. Many Mallorca friends could not and did not want to travel to Mallorca because of the quarantine regulation and cancelled already booked trips. For this reason, the airlines thinned out their flight offers to Mallorca, hotels closed or no longer opened. This further exacerbated the island's economic crisis, the number of unemployed grew massively, livelihoods were endangered or destroyed. Initially, the quarantine regulation was evident because Mallorca had a strongly rising 7-day incidence. Due to the government's rigid measures to contain the pandemic, but also intensive efforts and restrictions by Mallorcans and foreigners living in Mallorca, the 7-day incidence values were massively pushed down and were already below 50/100,000 four weeks ago. Although the federal government itself had set this mark as the benchmark for lifting the classification as a risk area, nothing happened.
This prompted the real estate entrepreneur Lutz Minkner to write a dunning letter to the German ambassador in Madrid with the demand to cancel the classification of Mallorca as a risk area.
Dear Ambassador Dold,
You have placed short videos “Volveremos - we are coming back” in the media in the last few days, telling our Spanish friends about the Germans' longing to travel to Spain and advocating for tourism. On the other hand, you address Germans who miss the opportunities to travel to Spain. These videos have aroused a lot of sympathy on Mallorca, both among Spaniards and Germans living here, as they are a glimmer of hope that tourism will resume very soon - taking into account all safety measures such as hygiene, distance and the obligation to wear masks - and that at the same time the economy can recover from its state of shock and agony, the queues in front of the food banks will become smaller and many people who are without work or on short-time work, do not really know how to survive, there is once again a perspective on life. The Mallorquins and the foreigners living here have done a lot in the last few weeks and months, through very responsible action and great restrictions, to fight the pandemic and to achieve incidence values that make it possible to start travelling again. So, thanks for your efforts.
Unfortunately, this positive action is counteracted by pronouncements of the federal government.
Yes, travelling to Mallorca is possible in principle. But hardly anyone takes advantage of this opportunity, as the German government, or more precisely the German Foreign Office, has designated the Balearic Islands as a risk area for returning travellers on 14th of August 2020, thus imposing a 10-day quarantine that prevents most people who are willing to travel from realising their travel plans. This has the indirect consequence that the airlines have reduced their offers to a minimum and that the local hotels are only open in small numbers.
The designation of the Balearic Islands as a risk area was made because the Balearic Islands had significantly exceeded the 7-day incidence value of 50/100,000. In recent weeks, however, the 7-day incidence value has fallen drastically below 50/100,000. Today it is at 22/100,000 - one third of the 7-day incidence in Germany. In this situation, the quarantine for returning travellers makes no sense, nor can it be explained to a reasonable person. It would therefore have been obvious to lift the quarantine regulation for people returning from the Balearic Islands.
Local media report talks on 5th of March 2021 with representatives of the ministries involved and the Robert Koch Institute that there are currently no plans to lift the travel warning for the Balearic Islands. Spanish and German friends have asked us to approach you and to immediately convey this lack of understanding to the Federal Government, together with our demand that the quarantine regulations for people returning from the Balearic Islands be lifted immediately. The necessity and usefulness of reciprocal tests and the retention of compulsory masks is not in question.
Dear Ambassador Dold, we know you as a friend of the islands and of Spain and we thank you for your intensive efforts.
With kind regards
Minkner & Partner S.L.
Lutz Minkner, CEO
The letter found a strong echo in the German media (ARD-Tagesschau, ZDF-Heute, Spiegel to Süddeutsche). A few days later, a top-level meeting took place between the TUI board and the Balearic Prime Minister Armengol. The board of the German travel agency DER also joined the demands. So did business enterprises of the Balearic Islands and the German tourism industry. The pressure on the German government was successful: On 12.03.2021, the Balearic Islands were again classified as a “safe travel area” with effect from 04.03.2021, with the consequence that returnees do not have to present a PCR test or go into quarantine. Please also read the comments of our customers in our German BLOG: „Forderung: Aufhebung der Quarantäne für Mallorca-Rückkehrer“
EU aims to present plans for digital vaccination passport to the public before the end of March 2021
According to EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, the EU is working on a digital vaccination passport. Details are to be presented to the public before the end of March 2021. In the last week of February, the 27 EU states agreed in principle that there should be a mutually recognised digital vaccination passport. For this purpose, a database is to be set up in which the vaccinations will be registered and a personalised QR code issued to the vaccinated person. COVID-19 vaccinated persons should thus be able to prove their immunisation in a forgery-proof way.
2. Mallorca - Construction / Investment
Playa de Palma: Emaya builds new pumping stations and pipelines to tackle sewage problem, investment 9 million euros
Finally, the municipal utility Emaya is tackling a problem that has literally “stunk” residents and tourists at Playa de Palma for many years: New pumping stations and replacement of the dilapidated, 50-year-old sewage pipes are to prevent the stinking sewage sludge from running into the sea on rainy days in the future. The work is to start at the beginning of April. They are to be completed in about 2 years and create 165 new jobs. The investment is said to be 9 million euros. The work is part of a large rehabilitation project that will also include the construction of a new retention basin, for which additional 11 million euros have been budgeted.
Alcúdia: Municipality invests in beach promenade and beach bars, investment 9 million euros
The municipality of Alcúdia has not spent the budget in full in recent years and has generated a surplus of 9 million euros. This is to be invested in the improvement of the beach promenade this year and next year. It is planned to renew the beach accesses and the beach promenade as well as to build six new permanently installed beach bars, for which, however, the approval of the coastal authority is still needed. The old beach bars, which were built 30 years ago, are to be demolished.
Bunyola: Building licence for Richard Branson and Son Bunyola / Luxury hotel to open in 2023
Richard Branson can finally realise his plans to convert the historic Son Bunyola estate into a luxury hotel. After years of back and forth, the responsible municipality of Banyalbufar has now granted the necessary building licence. The hotel is to have only 23 luxury suites and is expected to open in 2023. Son Bunyola's history dates back to the 13th century. Until the 19th century, Son Bunyola was one of the most important estates on the island. During a storm last year, the manor house suffered severe damage to the roof, the façade and a historic watchtower.
Palma: Residents of the Santa Eulalia district do not want a pedestrian zone
The plans of Palma's city council to establish a pedestrian zone in the Santa Eulalia district in the area of the Fideus, Minyones and Pes del Formatge streets have met with fierce opposition from local residents. They argue that the designation as a pedestrian zone would attract too many tourists to the neighbourhood and thus cause the loss of its character as a residential area. Parking spaces are also a particular problem: Several parking spaces have already been eliminated because terraces for restaurants have been allowed there. There is no alternative plan where residents can park their vehicles. Especially for elderly and infirm people, it would then be almost impossible to get to their houses.
3. Mallorca – Economy
Tourism I: MP Sánchez promises billions in aid (11 billion) for tourism
MP Sánchez has promised the Spanish tourism industry subsidies amounting to 11 billion euros. These subsidies are intended to “relaunch” both small and large businesses and to save jobs and companies, as well as to stimulate new businesses. Spain is “at the beginning of the end of the Covid pandemic” and the aim is to thoroughly modernise the economy. However, MP Sánchez did not reveal how exactly this should be done.
Tourism II: The travel fair Fitur will take place in Madrid from 19.05. - 23.05.2021
Despite Covid19, the international travel fair Fitur will take place in Madrid from 19.05. - 23.05.2021. It is also seen as the starting signal for this year's tourism season. Due to the times, hygiene concepts for safe travelling will also be presented at this year's fair. The Balearic Islands will participate in the fair and present the diversity of the islands to the fair visitors. Last year, Mallorca's villages Pollença and Alcúdia were awarded as belonging to the group of the 15 most beautiful villages in Spain.
Tourism III: Many Mallorca hotels open as early as the end of March 2021
Since some airlines announced that they would resume flights to Mallorca at the end of March (TUI-Fly will be operating again from 27.03.2021), the large hotel groups have also reacted quickly and are opening their hotels in order to perhaps still be able to “take along” some Easter business. For example, the Robinson Hotel at Cala Serena on Mallorca's east coast plans to reopen as early as 20.03.2021. The Meliá Group, Hipotels, Grupotel and Iberostar also want to reopen their hotels at the beginning of April.
Tourism IV: Airport operator AENA reduces fees and taxes
This year, the airport operator AENA will demand lower taxes from the international airlines in order to support the air tourism sector, which has been severely affected by COVID19. This will involve a reduction in landing fees and airport taxes totalling 23.8 million euros. AENA adds that the infrastructure of Palma's airport is set up in such a way that the expected increase in air traffic in March and May can be handled without problems.
Tourism V: From 3rd of July direct flights with Ryanair from Mallorca to Copenhagen
The Irish low-cost airline Ryanair is opening a new direct connection from Mallorca to Copenhagen on 3rd of July 2021. The route is expected to be operated in the summer season and until the end of October. Due to the still uncertain situation, Ryanair is offering free rebooking options. Ryanair was also badly shaken by the Covid19 crisis and flew in a loss of 950 million euros in 2020.
Tourism VII: Hotel group Meliá closes 2020 with 600 million loss
The Meliá hotel group of the Escarrer family is one of the 20 largest and best hotel groups worldwide. The group operates 350 hotels in 35 countries. The Meliá group is also one of the market leaders on the Balearic Islands. Like all hotel groups, Meliá had to close the financial year 2020 with a bitter loss, namely a minus of 595.9 million euros. Worldwide, hotels could not open completely or temporarily due to the pandemic. The company expects an improvement as early as summer 2021, but a considerable economic upswing not until 2023.
Production: Competition for the “Majorica” pearl factory in Manacor
The insolvency administrator of the bankrupt pearl factory “Majorica” in Manacor is confident that the sale of the factory will go well. Five bidders have applied to take over the pearl factory. However, it is not only about the highest possible purchase price, but also about securing as many of the 275 jobs in Barcelona and on Mallorca as possible. The highest offer currently comes from the French group MRM (Marcel Robbez Masson) and ascents to 12 million euros. MRM wants to continue running Majorica in a “modern and efficient” way. MRM plans to install two more production and sales sites on the island, creating 100 new jobs. The existing employees of Majorica are to be taken over completely.
Retail: German discounter LIDL has opened two more shops on Mallorca
The German discounter LIDL continues its expansion in the Balearic Islands, where there are currently 25 shops, and has now opened two more Mallorca shops. One is located in Palma, at Avenida Aragó, 42. The sales area measures 1,000 sqm. The new branch employs 25 people. The total investment in this new Palma branch is said to be 2.4 million euros. LIDL opened another branch in Paguera a few days ago at the end of Bulevar de Peguera in Carrer de la Savina. This has a sales area of 1,200 sqm and 200 parking spaces. Here, too, 25 new employees will be employed. With these two new openings, LIDL currently has 21 shops on Mallorca. Recently, LIDL has also been relying more on local suppliers, from whom the company purchases goods worth 17 million euros annually.
4. Mallorca - Law, taxes, and finances
Expropriation of vacant housing from “large landlords” (banks and investment funds)
The measure had been announced for some time and applauded by the left-wing clientele of the Balearic left-wing government: The Balearic government will expropriate 56 vacant apartments and make them available as social housing to dwelling seekers on a rental basis. The basis is a law from 2018, as a result of which the Balearic government claims to have identified 800 flats whose expropriation would be possible. Those affected are “large landlords”, i.e., owners who own more than 10 properties and whose apartments have been empty for more than two years. In total, the Balearic government wants to expropriate 56 propoerties on the islands, of which 27 are on Mallorca (11 x Palma, 11 x Inca, 2 x Llucmajor, 2 x Manacor and 1 x Calvià). The measure will result in an avalanche of lawsuits. Compensation for the affected owners is likely. Then the leftist clientele will no longer applaud, because the costs of this unlawful adventure will be borne by the taxpayers. Read more in our BLOG in German: „Wohnungsenteignung von Banken und Fonds“
Resident discount: New legal regulation for air travel between the mainland and the Spanish islands
To compensate for the disadvantages of insularity, Spain (responsible is the Ministry of Infrastructure) promotes travel between the Balearic Islands as well as the Canary Islands “and the rest of the territory" through subsidies of 75%, which go directly to the airline. Airport charges are excluded from the discount. The discount is granted to passengers who present their identity card or passport and a special Resident Certificate (Certificado de residencia para viaje) valid for 6 months, issued by the Residents' Registration Office.
Consumer protection associations had complained about price increases of subsidised flights and manipulations, as the airlines asked for the resident status before the actual booking process, and then - miraculously - a modified - higher - price system was applied. This abuse on the part of the airlines is being countered with a new legal regulation that has been in force since 01.03.2021: The question of whether the passenger is a Balearic resident may only be asked at the end of the booking process.
Illegal holiday rentals: Airbnb wins also in second instance against Balearic government, fine of €300,000 annulled
The Supreme Court of the Balearic Islands has overturned a fine of €300,000 imposed by the Balearic Islands government on the internet rental portal Airbnb. The ruling was based on the fact that Airbnb had also posted advertisements of holiday home rentals on the internet that did not contain the legally required registration number, which gave rise to the suspicion that they were offers of illegal holiday rentals. As in the first instance, the obligation to provide the registration number rests exclusively with the provider. In contrast, there was no obligation on the part of the internet portal to check. Details on this decision can be found in our BLOG in German “Current topics”. „Unerlaubte Ferienvermietung: Bußgeld für Airbnb aufgehoben“
Lutz Minkner - The book is in German - Der Immobilien-Ratgeber SPANIEN – Alles über Recht und Steuern "The Real Estate Guide -SPAIN - Everything about Law and Taxes”, 4th Edition 2020, available from May 2020 (!), 237 pages, ISBN: 978-3-96004-063-7, 29.95 €
5. Galería de Arte Minkner
Due to the uncertain situation, we have postponed the final planning of our event and exhibition calendar for 2021 for now.
07.08. – 31.03.2021 Palmas Faces – Palmas Facades -Assemblages by Prof. Jürgen Wölke
Prof. Jügen Wölke was the undisputed master of assemblage, the spatial-plastic material images with which he recreated the “world in miniature”. At scrap yards in Berlin and Mallorca he was known as a constant seeker and collector as well as in small, traditional grocery stores, where he found the themes that he took. Wölkes large-format works can be found, for example, at New York Airport, Leipzig Central Station, and in numerous private collections. The Berlin Senate repeatedly presented Wölke assemblages to its state guests as a guest gift. In Palma, he was taken with the maltreated, morbid facades of the old city. He created a delicate milieu of studies which are of documentary value.
Galeria de Arte Minkner, Avda. Rey Jaime I, 109 – 07180 Santa Ponsa, Tel. +34 971 695 255
Duration of Exhibition: 07.08.2020 – 31.03.2021, Open: Monday to Friday 10.00h – 18.30h
6. Events and tips
20th of March 2021, Paul Gant Quartet at the cultural finca Son Bauló, Lloret de Vistalegre
The singer and show master Paul Gant have been thrilling audiences for many years on stage and on television, where he transports guests with heart and style to the times of Frank Sinatra with his smoky yet mellow voice. These artists make up the quartet: Paul Gant (Voice), Steve Bergendy (bass), Franco Bombelli (piano) and Jaume Ginard (drums). 20.03.2021, Paul Gant Quartet at the cultural finca Son Bauló, entrance16.00 h, concert, 18 €. Reservations +34 971 524 206, www.son-baulo.com.
20th and 21st of March 2021: Ultra Mallorca Man Non-Stop, Portocolom
On 20 and 21.03.2021, the sports event “Ultra Mallorca Man Non-Stop” will take place in Mallorca. It is a charity extreme triathlon founded by a trumpet player from the Palma city band, Bernat Xavier Xamena Vidal, to raise food and money donations for the organisation “Mallorca Sense Fam” (Mallorca without hunger). Without interruptions, the triathlon covers a distance of 515 km: 10 km swimming, 420 km cycling and a double marathon run of 85 km. 20. and 21.03.2021, “Ultra Mallorca Man Non-Stop, Triathlon over 515 km, Start: 20.03.2021, 7.00 h in Portocolom
25th of March 2021, Symphony Orchestra of the Balearic Islands at Trui Teatre Palma
Another concert of the Symphony Orchestra of the Balearic Islands “Ciutat de Palma” will take place on 25.03.2021 at the Trui Teatre in Palma. Under the conductor Pablo Mielgo and with the soprano Nuria Rial, the Opus No. 7 by Berlioz “Les nuits d`été” and the Great Symphony D 944 by Schubert will be performed. 25.03.2021, 20.00 h, Symphony Orchestra of the Balearic Islands at Trui Teatre, admission 35 €, tickets Trui Teatre box office +34 971 78 32 79 and www.truiteatre.es
27th of March 2021, Music Cabaret with Jörg Jung & Andreas Ockert at the cultural finca Son Bauló in Lloret de Vistalegre
The entertainers Jörg Jung (speech and vocals) and Andreas Ockert (piano) will give a guest performance on 27.03.2021 at the cultural finca Son Bauló with a music-cabaret programme. In addition to targeted satirical tips on world events and island life, there will be international music classics from Tom Jones to David Bowie and Chris Rea. Motto: Laugh and let laugh. 27.03.2021, Music Cabaret with Jörg Jung & Andreas Ockert at the cultural finca Son Bauló, 16.00 h show, 18 €. Reservations +34 971 524 206 and www.son-baulo.com.
23rd to 26th of June 2021, “Superyacht Cup Palma” to be held at the Real Club Náutico of Palma
The sailing club Real Club Náutico de Palma (RCNP) wants to host the Superyacht Cup Palma from 23 to 26 June 2021. The organisation lies with the Balearic company Aquamarine Events. Sailing yachts from all over the world between 25 and 50 metres are expected to take part in this event. It is one of the most important annual regattas in the Mediterranean. The event is to take place in compliance with a strict safety protocol.
Tip I: On Mallorca, among other places, the gap between rich and poor is widening during the pandemic - you can help, too! How? You can find out here
After a year of the Covid19 pandemic, the gap between rich and poor on Mallorca has widened even more. While the terraces of the gastronomy are again well frequented, there are still long queues in front of the food banks. If you would also like to help, you will find a link to an article from the MALLORCA MAGAZINE in which the most important charitable organisations are listed with their names, objectives, addresses and bank details. We thank you for your support.
Tip II: Mallorca's hospital clowns are about to go out of business - appeal for donations
They have been known in Mallorca's hospitals since 1994: For 27 years, the hospital clowns Sonrisa Médica have been helping sick children (and adults too) forget their pain and worries and bring a smile to their faces. Many donors who had supported the clowns in the past time and again are now focused on their own struggle for survival, so the hospital clowns are also about to go out of business and have called for a fundraising campaign. Even with small monthly donations and a one-off payment, you can help support and maintain the wonderful work of the hospital clowns. Details: www.sonrisamedica.org.
7. Legal Notice
The "Newsletter of Minkner & Partner S.L." is published fortnightly. As a client of Minkner & Partner PROFI KONZEPT S.L. you receive it via E-Mail. Responsible in terms of Press Law is Dipl. Jur., Ass. jur. Lutz Minkner, c/o Minkner & Partner S.L., Avda. Rey Jaime I, 109 – ES 07180 Santa Ponsa, Phone: +34 971 695 255, firstname.lastname@example.org www.minkner.org
OFICINA CENTRAL SANTA PONSA 07180 Santa Ponsa - Avenida Rey Jaime I, 109 Tel: +34 971 695 255 Fax: +34 971 695 695