The platform against mega-cruise ships gave a press conference on Monday.

09-03-2020

The platform against mega-cruise ships has criticised the fact that regulations for cruise ships in Palma that are due to come into effect in 2022 were not included in the minutes of the most recent meeting of the Balearics Ports Authority's board or in the draft of the ten-year strategic plan for the port.

At a press conference on Monday, Jaume Garau of the Palma XXI association, said that he didn't know if someone was having a laugh "or was thinking we are fools". The last board meeting didn't contemplate the "moratorium" which has "theoretically" been approved. Garau added that no one had assured them that the new regulations will actually be adopted, noting that the strategic plan envisages an increase in cruise passengers over the next five years.

The platform, which comprises some forty associations, organisations and groups, has presented its proposals in respect of the strategic plan. One of these is the creation of a committee of experts to evaluate the social, economic and environmental impact of cruise ships. This should be functioning already, stated Garau, so that there can be analysis of the port's carrying capacity.

A demand being made by the platform is for a daily limit of one cruise ship or a maximum of 4,000 passengers. Garau said that "someone should say if this limit is correct or not", observing that there are days this year when up to six mega-cruise ships are scheduled to be in Palma at the same time. In order to give an answer to the question of a limit, the platform wants the independent committee of experts.

Other proposals include a domestic emissions control area of the kind used by other European ports to control emissions and the use of ports authority revenue to establish such a control system.

Margalida Ramis of the environmentalists GOB attacked the impossibility of establishing a maximum carrying capacity when there is "total opacity regarding contamination data". She also criticised the ports authority for "having at no time mentioned the climate emergency", when a strategic plan should take account of this.

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