Both alarms ring at the crack of dawn and the routine rarely varies. Shower, ten minutes with the dogs, kitchen, cup of tea and a yogurt, check the diary, dress, and go. From then on, the day is dedicated to the European Project and because she wears two hats, one as the Councillor for Tourism and Foreign Citizens in the Calvia Townhall and the other one as Director of The Department for European Citizens within the Ministry of Immigration and Cooperation, Kate has to juggle her time between the relevant offices in Calvia and Palma.
- 8:00 am: Kate arrives at Calvia Town Hall, discusses her diary with her staff, tends to emails, most of which she answers personally, and sorts through the stack of enquiries from the European residents of Calvia. Having lived on the island and in Calvia for 26 years, Kate knows many of her fellow Europeans on a first name basis and often has a face in mind when dealing with the issues brought before her, making each matter a little more personal. She makes it a point to let all new residents know, that they will always find her door open.
- 9.00 am: Monthly meeting with the presidents and staff of the five hotel associations in Calvia to firm up the joint campaign for 2007/2008 and assess the outlook for the coming season. Winter occupancy and promotion is top of the list.
- 10.30 am: Live interview with Radio Calvia regarding the prospects for the 2007 tourist season.
- 11:00 am: Kate arrives at her Palma office, whizzing through the door with a bright smile as she greets her staff. Along with the obligatory cup of coffee and a croissant (but only the outer crust) she discusses new laws implemented by the Central Government applying to social security benefits and pension rights within EU countries, an article published by a German newspaper explaining the rules for registering a car, the progress of the arrangements for the big event on May 6th celebrating Europe Day.
- 11:30 am: Cabinet meeting in the Ministry of Immigration and Cooperation which, as always, gives her the opportunity to prove to the cabinet members the value of the Department for European Residents by presenting a list of over 100 inquiries made to the office within the last two weeks: lost residence cards, language problems, transport discounts, a lost purse, social benefits for an unemployed young mother, living arrangements for a widower without benefits.
- 1:00 pm: Meeting with the director of GESA to continue to request installation of a direct phone line staffed by English and German speakers to simplify procedures for the foreign community
- 2:00 pm: Lunch with the Scandinavian Residents in Calvia. Kate chats away, listening intently, eating with one hand while making notes with the other.
- 4.00 pm: Visit to the Magaluf and Santa Ponsa tourist offices (two of the five for which she is responsible) to catch up on the who, where, how, when and why.
- 6:00 pm: Home in a rush. Pats and cuddles for the dogs, kiss for David, her husband. She flies through the house, checking her personal email and phone messages. Freshen up, change, go. Whenever possible, David takes the wheel so she can use the time as passenger to catch up on missed phone calls.
- 7:30 pm: Arrive in Manacor for another in a long series of residents meetings. Check the preparations, fifteen minutes with the town officials then out to welcome the European residents as they arrive, with a smile and a greeting in their own language.
- 9:30 pm: Quick goodbyes and back in the passenger seat of the car for the ride home which enables her to make some notes about the questions posed during the meeting ready for follow up the next day
- 11:00 pm: Home! Kate snuggles up on the couch with the dogs at her feet for a brief 30 minutes of watching the news and catching up on anything relevant in the local press.
Tomorrow will be, more or less, a repeat performance… just another ‘day at the office’… Different times, different places but the same frenetic schedule, presuming the Partido Popular and Kate win the May elections!