Inefficiency and waste seem to sometimes be the credo of politicians in Mallorca. Add to that a fair amount of irresponsible accounting and a kick-back here and there and presto, you have an administration heading for calamity.
Take the new Parc de Bombers in Palma de Mallorca, for instance, the new central fire station. A Parque de Bomberos exists in Palma, built in 1973 at the Polígono de Son Castelló, but, hey, why not build a new one? In 2006, a building project was calculated for an amount of 22,600,000 Euros and given the go-ahead. The small matter had to be considered of no money being in the coffers, but, construction swiftly began of what was to become one of the finest central fire stations in Europe (my translation of a quote from the website of Bombersdepalma).
At a press conference earlier this week, the public was duly informed that in the absence of liquidity, a rental agreement was entered into for a duration of 30 years with CAIB Patrimonio, whoever that might be, at a total cost of 121,000,000 Euros. Would you believe it? A fire station which reputedly cost 15 million to build and a further 10 million to equip with installations and all, will cost the Mallorcan taxpayer five times more over the next 30 years. After that rental period and having paid 121 million, the fire station would still not be the property of those who have paid the equivalent of twenty thousand million of the old Pesetes for it.
Financial structures of that kind are known as Public Private Partnerships. To me it rather smells of robbery and deception. Not surprisingly, the matter is currently under investigation by the local law courts as part of the so-called Bomsai case.
This episode reminds me of the song by Rush, You don’t get something for nothing, You can’t have freedom for free, You won’t get wise With the sleep still in your eyes No matter what your dreams might be (lyrics by Geddy Lee and Neil Peart).
The photo (top) was taken in Palma de Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: July 22nd, 2010. The time was 14:56:16. The photo (bottom) was borrowed from the Internet, thanks to bombersdepalma.com.