Firefighters say that the "corridor" wasn't intended to intimidate. | R.L.

The professional association of Palma firefighters (APBP) has criticised the councillor for public safety, Angelica Pastor, for damaging the prestige of the fire service as a means of diverting attention from her "awful management".

The association, which consists of members of different unions, has felt obliged to react to statements by Pastor in which "she defamed the fire service in an intolerable fashion". It wants to make clear that at no time has any damage been caused to vehicles and equipment as a form of protest, nor have any firefighters left the service and nor have response times been compromised.

On Tuesday, Pastor was greeted by a corridor of firefighters. The association insists that this was a "respectful act" and was not intended to be intimidatory and certainly not sexist. "Palma's fire department is mostly made up of men, so it is logical that there would have been a majority of men."

Demands that have been made by firefighters, the association adds, are fair and necessary in order to ensure a quality service and to fulfil agreements. These, it maintains, remain permanently unfulfilled. As a consequence, and after two years of negotiations, the firefighters "have been forced to take their requests onto the streets". The association says that the situation cannot go on any longer. "The ineffectiveness and ineptitude of the public safety department are unprecedented."

The association no longer considers Pastor to be "a valid interlocutor" and is therefore requesting the mediation of the mayor, José Hila. At the same time, it regrets the "threatening attitude and lack of proposals to resolve the labour dispute".