Teresa Ribera is Spain’s minister for ecological transition and the demographic challenge. New age ministerial titles have been adopted for the present and future day. It is no longer adequate to simply refer to the environment. Ecological transition is a broader concept for sustainability.
Until now, the demographic part of her portfolio (population challenge, if you prefer) has appeared to be secondary. But it is intimately linked to ecological transition and is currently being given a thorough airing. The secretary general for the democratic challenge, Francesc Boya, has been in Palma for talks with Balearic ministers who represent different aspects of this challenge - Rosario Sánchez (finance) and Miquel Mir (environment).
There is much talk about depopulation in parts of the mainland. In the Balearics, the opposite applies. The talk is of overpopulation, which brings with it the specific challenges that Sánchez and Mir are concerned with but that also applies to various other ministers, such as Josep Marí (housing) and Iago Negueruela (tourism). The floating population of tourists and seasonal workers is a key overpopulation issue.
In the past thirty years, the Balearic population has increased by just over 70% to 1.21 million. At its summer peak, the floating population has in recent years increased the number of people by over 80%. The strains are great, and they are only likely to get greater. So where is the focus? Step forward, Sr. Negueruela (economic model as well as tourism). Boya has said that the “tourism monoculture” has to be tackled.