The incident with Arran in Palma last month.


The National Police said yesterday that they have confirmation that the members of the extremist group Arran, who terrorised a group of restaurant clients and holidaymakers at a luxury sea front restaurant Palma last month, have close connections with radical groups on the mainland.

The police say that the Majorca branch of Arran, which is threatening further protests and demonstrations against tourism, acted under orders from Catalonia and that they know the identities of those involved. Charges they will face will relate to damages suffered by the restaurant and the use of flares in a public space. The police are waiting for an assessment of these damages.

Politicians from regions of Spain were commenting yesterday on the incidents involving Arran in Barcelona and Majorca, while the Balearic government and Palma town hall maintained an extraordinary silence.

Ximo Puig, the president of the Valencia regional government, said that his government is against any hint of violence directed towards tourism. He added that the safety of all tourists going to Valencia will be guaranteed and that choosing Valencia would be "one of the best decisions that could be taken". He noted that there hasn’t been any problem of the type experienced in Majorca and Catalonia.

The regional government of Madrid condemned the anti-tourism protests. "This radicalisation can only be dealt with by the police with the full backing of the judiciary. Tourism is not only vital for our economy but it brings new life and cultures to the various regions and out country as a whole."

In Andalusia, the tourism minister, Francisco Javier Fernández, said that he was not concerned that there would be such incidents in the region. "Andalusia does not have this problem." He added that failures elsewhere needed to be analysed in order that they are not committed in Andalusia. He explained this by referring to a "monoculture of tourism" in the Balearics and to Catalonia having some 70% of its tourism concentrated in Barcelona. "The circumstances in Andalusia are not the same."

Meanwhile, graffiti has appeared on a bench in Palma's calle Blanquerna saying no to tourist apartments.