Aligi Molina, a Palma councillor for Som Palma (Podemos), tweeted against property speculation and this type of model for the city of Palma.

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Last Friday a group of squatters took over an empty building belonging to a hotel business in Palma's Plaça Alexander Fleming. Responding to this, President Armengol said today that while the law must be respected, she understood the problems faced by many people in finding somewhere to live. "There is unfortunately a situation with homelessness in the Balearics," she said, observing that it was one of the consequences of economic crisis, which had impoverished some people.

"Job insecurity and the lack of income deny the right that is recognised by the Spanish Constitution, which is the right to housing. We are a community (in the Balearics) where there is greater disparity between those who have and those who have little."

Reflecting on the inequalities that have increased in the Balearics, the president added that the government was seeking ways of solving the housing problem. To this end, the ministry of land is working on a new housing bill.

The local police in Palma have explained that there are no minors among the squatters and that they are unaware of any illegal activities having taken place inside the building. They cannot, therefore, intervene but would do so if there is a formal complaint by the owner, Explotacions Turístiques de les Illes SL.

The squatters, in a statement released online, say that the building has been empty since 2011. They add that the building is "a space being managed directly by Palma residents in recognition of equality and freedom from imposition or discrimination". One of the banners draped from the building says "for a self-organised neighbourhood".

The squatters intend to use the building until 10 June. When they leave, a rally is planned with music and Majorcan salad.