Some one hundred people took part in the protest on Sunday to mark the arrival of the Symphony of the Seas cruise ship. The protest had been called by the 23-S Assembly of which environmentalists GOB are a main force. The ship was making its maiden cruise, and it will continue to operate throughout the season, starting from Barcelona and stopping over in Palma, Marseille, La Spezia, Civitavecchia (Rome) and Naples.
GOB spokesperson Margalida Ramis reiterated a complaint that consideration is not being given to the environmental impact and to the effect on Palma of tourist saturation, especially when there are between five and seven cruise ships on the same day: there was only the one on Sunday. Contamination from the ships affects air quality, while saturation challenges the capacity of resources and infrastructure. She insisted that there has to be an evaluation of more than just the economics of the tourism industry. There cannot be "submission to the blackmail that Majorca lives from tourism".
Rather than lives from, Majorca suffers because of tourism, Ramis continued. There has to be a right to decide on how the city's port is used and this needs to be from both a social and a territorial perspective. The president of GOB, Amadeu Corbera, highlighted the "increasingly obvious problem", which is why he urged the regional government to "debate the limits to and impact of this type of tourism".
We don't want "symbolic statements" from President Armengol about there being "a lot of tourism", Corbera added. "What does she intend doing about a critical situation? Is she going to act accordingly?"
The government, via its PSOE spokesperson Pilar Costa, had already said it respected the protest and that people should express their opinions. Josep Lluis Bauzá, spokesperson for the opposition Ciudadanos at Palma town hall, took a different view. He said today (Monday) that he could not understand "how a protest can be directed at a ship that brings people and entire families to visit the island".
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