by Staff Reporter
PASSENGERS arriving at Palma's Son Sant Joan airport yesterday, the busiest day of the year so far, got a warmer welcome than they expected.
A large group of demonstrators carrying banners with slogans such as ‘Welcome to Tarmac Island' descended on the airport at about 11.30am, laying a long piece of black canvas representing a motorway in the arrivals lounge.

The 70-odd demonstrators were from the No to Motorway committee, set up to fight the construction of the Arenal-Lluchmajor, Inca-Sa Pobla and Inca-Manacor motorways and Palma's second ring road, supported by the group opposing the underwater gas pipes which will emerge at Es Carnatge (Palma).

Spokesman Miquel Gelabert said that their intention was “to make known the reality of Majorca around the world, and mobilise people against the motorways.” He added that the “idyllic Majorca will disappear because of urban development and speculation, and this will have a negative influence on tourism.” He said it was not their intention to inconvenience passengers, but their presence certainly did not go unnoticed. In addition to the banners and the canvas ‘motorway', the demonstrators handed out more than 3'000 leaflets which said “seven new motorways will destroy magnificent rural areas, new urban developments will destroy the last corners of the unspoilt coast, no control over urban discipline and the eternal complicity of politicians with speculators are the causes of a new stage in this calvary of Majorca.” The leaflets also accused the Partido Popular of promoting the new roads while at the same time reducing the size of natural parks and public transport.

An estimated 153'000 people passed through the airport yesterday, beating last year's record of 150'620 set on August 16.

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