The mayor of Palma, José Hila, has today said that the city wants tourism but "with a sense of order and agreement". He was making his address during the city's Festival of the Standard to mark the anniversary of the arrival of King Jaume I and his forces in 1229, which brought an end to the Muslim era in Majorca.
Hila told the audience in the Plaça Cort: "We have to know how to manage the success of the principal driver of our economy in order to avoid saturations like those this summer and to ensure that wealth reaches everyone. This is why we have regulated the flow of cruise-ship tourists in the centre of Palma and why we will work closely on all aspects of the debate on regulating tourist rentals."
The mayor also spoke about the city's need for greater political autonomy and for greater economic resources. "Almost half the citizens of Majorca live in the city, which offers services to the whole of the Balearics. Palma is underfunded in terms of everything it represents and contributes to Majorca and to the Community (the Balearic region)."
On the symbolism of the Standard, Hila said that it was "an act through which we express our understanding of all that we are ... and feel as a people". As the Council of Majorca will from next year be celebrating Majorca Day on 31 December as well, Hila welcomed this but stressed Palma's role of being in charge of the Standard. He went on to refer to the flag being raised against "all types of violence, especially gender, and in firmly defending peace and tolerance".
He concluded by saying that he hopes that he has contributed to opening the doors of the town hall to citizens, to devolving politics "to the street" and to actively listening to the problems of Palma residents. Hila will step down as mayor next year and hand over to Antoni Noguera of Més.
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