Could this be the beginning of the end of Palma de Mallorca as we know it? Today, the majority of Balearic MPs, minus the Partido Popular, voted in favour of a motion to debate whether to call the capital just Palma. The move comes just four years after the PP-dominated parliament voted in favour of officially changing Palma’s name to Palma de Mallorca.
Speaking in favour of the motion, Alberto Jarabo, the spokesperson for Podemos, said that Palma is "our city" and that Palma de Mallorca was invented as a commercial brand which helped to distinguish it from other parts of Spain, i.e. Las Palmas and La Palma in the Canary Islands.
He was supported by the Més parliamentary deputy, Bel Busquets, who claimed that Palma de Mallorca has never been the capital's real name. "It was an informal move made by Madrid. Palma de Mallorca is a new name, it’s a name which Majorcans associate with bureaucracy."
PSOE deputy Jaume Garau said that Palma should stick to its Roman roots like Valencia and Barcelona. "We all remember back in 2012 when the PP changed the name. It was all part of the president’s strategy to weaken the importance of the island’s Catalan culture and language. It’s now time to recuperate the name Palma for various reasons - sentimental, scientific, political and cultural."
The mayor of Palma, José Hila, was invited to speak and he observed that Palma is the name used overseas. For this reason, Palma is enough: "It does not need to be on the map with a surname."
But the PP are going to put up a fight. The former PP Palma councillor for tourism and deputy mayor, Alvaro Gijon, called on all of the parties "not to fiddle about with and change history". "The airport is always going to be Palma de Mallorca. Why complicate life?"
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