Poverty in Mallorca is increasing dramatically

The Corona crisis hit the holiday island of Mallorca extremely hard. Because tourism is idle, the lines at the boards are getting longer and longer.

Social hardship on Mallorca has increased dramatically in the wake of the corona pandemic. On the Spanish holiday island, the demand for aid has never been as great as this year, reported the regional newspaper “Diario de Mallorca” on Sunday. This is also evident from reports from Red Cross employees, it said.

The paper quotes the coordinator of the medical aid organization responsible for the Mediterranean islands, Juana Lozano, with the information that in the first ten months of the current year alone, around 52,000 aid packages with food, hygiene and cleaning items were distributed. In the whole of 2019 there were 11,000.

Many retirees and the middle class are also affected

According to media reports, the queues in front of the boards in the Mallorca capital Palma, but also in other areas of the island, are getting longer. The homeless and residents of problem areas no longer make up the majority of the needy. Many retirees and middle-class families are now also affected.

Helpers hand out food to those in need: The crisis has also reached many pensioners and middle-class families.  (Source: dpa / Clara Margais)Helpers hand out food to those in need: The crisis has also reached many pensioners and middle-class families. (Source: Clara Margais / dpa)

The corona-related travel restrictions have hit the Balearic and Canary Islands hard in Spain. Tourism, which is responsible for around 35 percent of national income in both regions, experienced a slump. In the Balearic Islands, for example, the number of foreign visitors between January and October fell by more than 87 percent compared to the same period of the previous year, according to a recent report by the INE statistics agency.

Highest number of infections in Spain

An improvement in the situation is not in sight – especially since the Balearic Islands are now recording the worst corona numbers in all of Spain. Most recently, the number of new infections per 100,000 inhabitants climbed to 607 within 14 days, regardless of strict restrictions on freedom of movement and assembly, according to the Balearic health authorities in Palma.

On the beach in Palma: The number of foreign tourists in Mallorca has fallen by almost 90 percent this year.  (Source: dpa / Clara Margais)On the beach in Palma: The number of foreign tourists in Mallorca has fallen by almost 90 percent this year. (Source: Clara Margais / dpa)

For comparison: According to the EU authority ECDC, this so-called 14-day incidence was last 249 in all of Spain, and almost 394 in Germany. The Balearic Prime Minister Francina Armengol warned on Sunday that the corona risk is “extremely high” on the island in Palma. The number of Covid patients in the intensive care unit increased by 35 percent to 69 in one week.

In response to the high number of infections, the regional government has once again tightened the measures to contain the pandemic. Among other things, restaurants, caf├ęs and pubs on Mallorca will have to close on Tuesday at 6 p.m. – four hours earlier than before. The measures should apply for two weeks until January 11th.

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