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April 8, 2020

Balearic Islands safe destination or “The story of the Neverland”

by Juan M. Ferrer

Although our geography makes us privileged to contain and control the Covid-19, our leaders may understand it better with a fairy tale:

Once upon a time, some beautiful islands lost in the middle of a turquoise sea that isolated them from other people who lived far away, some more than 3500 km. In cities with modern airports and prepared to send you on vacation to these privileged islands, due to its nature, its people, its gastronomy. It was the closest paradise they knew.

There were some rulers who wanted maximum security for their citizens. Concerned about their health and food supplies, and aware of the need to welcome these people who are eager to travel, they decided to get ahead of the problem and began to have talks with those countries.

It was about explaining to them that the situation was temporarily controlled there and better than in other parts of the world and that they came up with the idea of establishing safe connecting corridors so that, people who wanted to, could come. From safe point to safe point, with controls at the exit and at the entrance, for immune citizens who have had the virus and for people over the age of 60 and under who test negative.

This guaranteed a continuous and controlled flow of citizens and both countries won. Some because they were on vacation and the others because they were gradually moving their economy and giving an example of tourism innovation creating the first tourism health corridor from which many other countries could later benefit as a model. And they all moved and lived safe and sound. They were happy and content.

It was very possible that other destinations and cities on the planet, suspicious, would put all kinds of problems to such an extent without knowing that if it was good for the islands, it would be good for others who could copy the model. For this reason, the island’s rulers did well and relied on international auditors and consultants, and spoke with airport and health authorities with whom to draw up a rigorous process plan.

A few days ago, presidents of more distant places wondered how to fly again, with what rules, what kind of health card travelers should have. And there they were, the skilled island leaders taking the lead, proposing new rules for flying, with their safe corridors.

It was not easy, because logically, hoteliers and restaurateurs could not open all their businesses but they did start with some latent activity. Luckily, everyone who relied on the business of bringing visitors was able to at least breathe for a while.

And in addition, the rulers of the Country of Never Never decided to subsidize Social Security at 50% until June 2021, they allowed to reduce contracts in half to the personnel of these companies, authorize staff shifts for months to compensate for stoppages together with the administration, help airlines and tour operators, reduce local taxes as some municipalities have already done in an exemplary way.

They were aids to make a better society, capable of overcoming threats such the threat of the Eres, the loss of self-employed workers, the bankruptcy of companies, the shadow economy, demonstrations, protests, destroyed families, suicides, robberies, violence … chaos.

It did not take an economist to understand that the country was bankrupt, that no company, self-employed person or family could borrow more than their total income. And for this reason, the Dutch, Swedes and Germans do not trust the rulers on whom the Neverland depends when they propose the Corona bonds, which could be one of the few viable solutions to save the European community.

The story is a very useful resource. In this story, we illustrate the possibility of anticipating many of these problems in order to shed some light on the rest of the communities, archipelagos (the Canary Islands that begin their season in October) and the rest of Europe. A route to work above ideologies and manage for the common good of people.

These wealth-generating islands have earned the well-being of their people with the entrepreneurial and innovative work of individuals who have always been in solidarity with the rest of Spain and Europe.

Again, we must find ways of solution and flag this spirit by setting an example and good practices, Europe and our next generations will thank us.

Juan Miguel Ferrer, vice president of CAEB Restauración



Article published en www.mallorcadiario.com