STAFF REPORTER
THE president of Balearic ecological watchdog GOB, Macia Blazquez, yesterday challenged the head of the Balearic Ports Authority (APB), Francesc Triay, to let the Majorcan people decide just how they want the port of Palma extended and developed. Blazquez also accused the APB of “keeping the plans they have for the future of the port under wraps.” The president of GOB said that his organisation had recently met with Triay to ask him to release the plans and information on the Palma port development scheme. The only drawings which were made available on the occasion for GOB representatives to see dated from 2005. Blazquez said that it was from that date that plans for a 44-hectare expansion programme had been set in motion allowing for a “two-way” maritime transport operations systems on the Dique del Oeste (West dock) which would increase by 50 percent the area of water encompassed within Palma port to 100 hectares. He said that the scheme was a “mega expansion” which would demand the opening of new quarries to allow the extraction of nearly 10 million cubic metres of sand at an estimated cost of 1'000 million euros. Blazquez asserted that the project was completely “out of proportion” and would have severe environmental effects, impacting negatively on the quality of life on the Island.

Blazquez said that Triay had justified the enlargement of the port as it would be able to accommodate the growing demand for cruise ship mooring, which, claimed the Ports Authority president, would be of great economic advantage to Majorca. He claimed that the Paraires wharf would be used exclusively for such vessels. Blazquez retorted that he had learned through press reports and the Internet that the Paraires wharf is to be lengthened by 380 metres in a series of construction works which are to begin within a year at a cost of 23 million euros.

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