Extensive damage was caused to many local beaches.

The Balearic government is not backing its environment minister, Margalida Rosselló of the Greens, and has turned to the central ministry to restore local beaches before the tourist season starts. Rosselló is in favour of letting nature take its course in restoring the beaches, devastated by the storms earlier this month, to their former beauty. She said that artificial regeneration was against the programme of the ruling coalition government. But yesterday, government spokesman Antoni Garcías spoke of the need to restore the beaches urgently. “We want the beaches restored as quickly as possible and for them to be ready before the start of the tourist season.” Rosselló had the support of several colleagues, but yesterday Garcías made it plain that the beaches should be restored as soon as possible and said that the central ministry of the environment, headed by former Balearic leader Jaume Matas, would be allowed to take the action it deems necessary. But he also played with words, telling journalists, that “rehabilitation is not the same as regeneration.” He added “regeneration is expanding a beach by artificial methods while rehabilitation is returning it to its natural state.” The government's change in attitude came after a petition from the Mayors and hoteliers of the municipalities worst hit by the storms. Maria Antonia Munar, president of the Council of Majorca, said it was “logical” that the government should now want the beaches rehabilitated, after Rosselló*s refusal. The central ministry of the environment said that the beaches would be ready for the start of the season and promised that experts would study the problem beach by beach.


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