Cables - an eyesore in Palma. | Miquel A. Cañellas

The Arca association, which promotes the preservation of heritage, has criticised the increasing amount of cabling to be seen along streets in Palma. It crosses streets and hangs from buildings and posts. Arca suggests that fibre optics have been a cause of converting the fronts of buildings in an "intolerable fashion".

Àngels Fermoselle, spokesperson for Arca, says that telecommunications and broadcasting companies make considerable amounts of money but that they do not have the right to cause "aesthetic damage". Cables, in Arca's opinion, are one of the things that most detract from the city's image. The association has been demanding that the town hall acts in compliance with an obligation to protect and improve this image. The city's general urban plan, Arca adds, obliges cabling to be buried.

Accusing the town hall of having been turning a blind eye, Arca does concede that the administration has presented a pilot project for cabling in Sa Calatrava and has made underground cabling obligatory throughout the city in instances of new buildings and restoration. Nevertheless, this doesn't mean that cabling on the vast majority of buildings is about to disappear.

Arca is insisting that the town hall prevents more cables and that companies are made responsible for burying them in accordance with municipal regulations to protect the city's image.

José Hila, deputy mayor for urban planning, recognises the damage that cables cause to the city's heritage, noting that the pilot scheme for Sa Calatrava will be extended into the old centre of the city.