Palma session

Celesti Alomar, Jesús Jurado and Margalida Ramis.

25-09-2018Miquel A Cañellas

The ongoing tensions between ecologist groups and the Council of Majorca were once more highlighted during a debate on Tuesday evening that was held in the Council's meeting chamber.

Groups such as GOB have come into conflict with the Council's infrastructure department (controlled by PSOE) and with the Council's president, Miquel Ensenyat, over the building of the Llucmajor-Campos dual carriageway. The disagreement with Ensenyat has the greater political repercussion because he is a member of Més, traditionally seen as an ally of the ecologist movement.

The dual carriageway was an issue under discussion, but it was a broader debate about tourism. As well as Council representatives, those taking part included the spokesperson of GOB, Margalida Ramis, and the one-time Balearic tourism minister Celesti Alomar: he was minister at the time of the introduction of the old ecotax in 2002.

The debate had in fact been organised by the Council, and its theme was that of limits to tourism. Presiding over it was one of the two vice-presidents of the Council. Jesús Jurado of Podemos.

Ramis spent a great deal of time explaining the development of tourism to the current day and the consequences of this development. "We are in a situation of unsustainability whereby Majorca is being turned into a product at the service of tourism." She was critical of a model by which growth implies the creation of more infrastructure - the dual carriageway being an example.

The GOB spokesperson added that the debate should cease to be about the model of tourism but about the economic model of the island. In this context, however, she found it ironic that the development of new technologies in Majorca (a facet of economic diversification) should be as strongly linked to tourism as they are.

Majorca and the Balearics, she concluded, are enduring a "haemorrhage of excesses linked to tourism" and she urged the need for change. Alomar agreed that there is such a need, but he was less critical than Ramis, observing that the same mistakes of the past should not be repeated.