Parliament debating yesterday's coastal management motion. | Pere Bota

The Balearic parliament yesterday approved a motion presented by David Abril of Més by which the central government is to be called upon to comply with the Balearics statute of autonomy as it applies to the coastal public domain. In other words, the parliament wants regional powers to determine works and activities on the coast.

Parliament agreed that the coast should be protected as a "common good" and that it should not be subordinate to "private interests and business". Madrid is therefore being asked to ensure that the Balearics have responsibilities for the management of the coastal public domain. This would mean having the power to authorise (or not) activities on beaches and to grant concessions (or not). As reported in the Bulletin yesterday, this power would cover the installation of services such as beach bars and sunloungers.

The central government is also to be urged to amend the Coasts Law in order to increase regional powers for coastal management.

At present, the Costas Authority, which is part of the national environment ministry, has the ultimate say-so for all activities on beaches. With sunloungers and beach bars, the authorisation for these and indeed their specifications are subject to periodic renewal. Town halls are obliged to apply to the Costas for this authorisation.