Francina Armengol in parliament on Wednesday.

26-06-2019Jaume Morey

Leading the debate for her investiture yesterday, Francina Armengol told the Balearic parliament that she will be promoting "a strategy that places a limit on tourism of excesses and a ceiling that will be socially and economically sustainable" for cruise ships.

Modernisation and diversification of the Balearic economy, she explained, requires sustainable tourism, the circular economy, and new tools for both traditional and emerging sectors. It is essential to take advantage of tourism's dynamism and leadership in order to drive other sectors, and she emphasised that the future holiday industry will be based on quality of product, sustainability in its operation, and fair distribution of the benefits that it generates.

Armengol stressed the need to offset the "inherent inconveniences" of the arrival of millions of people each year and to define a model for cruise tourism that fits in with Balearic objectives. In order to diversify the economy, she pointed to the necessity to increase public and private investment in innovation, referring to digitalisation projects led by the University of the Balearic Islands, renewable energies and training to include a comprehensive plan for broadening the range of vocational training courses.

Above all, she said, labour precariousness must be reduced "by the maximum" through improving pay and increasing the capabilities of employees and the competitiveness of businesses.

The acting president explained that "special measures" for access to housing will be approved over the next few months. Her great challenge is to guarantee the right to housing, for which there is to be the new observatory to monitor the property market in every neighbourhood in order to adapt prices according to the financial resources of citizens.

There is to be a social renting scheme with more than a thousand properties in the hands of banks and investment funds, and Armengol added that more aid and tax measures will foster building and long-term renting. Other tax incentives will be introduced for the purchase of electric cars.

The model of government, she outlined, will be "feminist" and will empower education with values to combat sexism, homophobia and racism.

Armengol called for support for her investiture in order to "culiminate the modernisation" initiated over the past four years, and she offered assurance that the new pact between PSOE, Més and Podemos "is being renewed so that it is irreversible". She referred to the investiture debate in 2015 and to this having opened a period for advances such as the social income, "pioneering laws" against climate change and for the introduction of the tourist tax.

"We have protected more land than ever. We have accelerated the modernisation of our economy and key sectors such as tourism, industry and commerce. We have increased spending in education, health and social services and have reached figures never before seen." She concluded by saying that the agreements between PSOE, Més and Podemos will contribute to "political stability".