Lina Pons of El Pi, who is critical of the Spanish government. | Archive


Lina Pons, the parliamentary spokesperson for El Pi, said on Monday that the Balearics tourist pilot plan was an "absolutely positive" development but was of the view that it had been "dynamited" by the Spanish government's decision to "open up everything to almost everyone" from 21 June.

"The pilot plan was a priority for starting to reactivate the economy. Tourism is the Balearics engine as, whether people like it or not, there is a tourism economic monoculture." However, it was a plan that the Spanish government had taken "a long time to approve, and we believe that the government is dynamiting it".

The regional government, she observed, had come up with the pilot plan in order to see how opening up tourism would work with a maximum of some 10,900 tourists. But with the announcement that the borders will be reopened, there could be around 30,000 tourists next week.

"We wonder what the (Spanish) government is thinking about. We believe that this is one further example of the improvisation and uncertainty that the government has displayed in its decision-making." Pons echoed what President Armengol had said at the weekend about "the Balearics being a misunderstood region". "This is a region that is mistreated, belittled, forgotten and ignored by the state. They do not understand our reality."

While supportive of the pilot plan, Pons and El Pi do have certain misgivings regarding health controls. Pons intends asking Armengol in parliament about health guarantees. There were changes from the initial approach, in particular the removal of a need to have PCR tests. On top of this, "there has been the increase in number from 6,000 to 10,900."

The El Pi spokesperson feels that as there is no PCR test at airports of origin, "it is practically a test of faith, as here there will be a questionnaire, the temperature will be taken, and that is pretty much it". She noted that these are "flights not only with tourists arriving, but also with journalists and tour operator representatives". "Something doesn't add up."

She continued by saying that "the regional government has said that it is not having PCR tests at points of origin as it is abiding by what Madrid says". "This seems to be what we're left with. Either we have autonomy or we do not. How can the Canary Islands have insisted (on tests) to the national government and we cannot."