Balti Picornell (second left) read out the BUP manifesto. | Miquel À. Cañellas


In celebrating Mallorca Day (which is today, December 31), the Bloc d'Unitat Popular de Mallorca (BUP), a pro-independence left grouping, held a conference at Palma's Teatre Xesc Forteza on Wednesday at which the regional and national governments were accused of being "at the service of economic elites".

Baltasar Picornell, the former president (speaker) of the Balearic parliament, was in charge of reading the BUP manifesto. Now distanced from the Podemos hierarchy both regionally and nationally, he said that Covid had revealed how "the regime of '78 (a reference to the Constitution) is totally at the service of economic elites, even when it is led by a government that wants to sell itself to us as the most progressive of the false Spanish democracy".

Cuts have not been reversed, he stated, and the right to housing has not been guaranteed. "Only the direct action of the popular classes has prevented more families from being homeless."

Turning his attention to the regional government specifically, Picornell said that it was "completely submissive to the interests of the state and the tourism lobby". It will "never bite the hand that feeds it crumbs". "At no time has it had the courage or the intention to propose an alternative to the tourism monoculture, a model that does nothing more than make the life of the working class precarious through indecent salaries and hellish working conditions, while also destroying our territory. We want a sovereign Mallorca so that this crisis will be paid for by Iberostar, Meliá and Airbnb. Let those with the huge fortunes pay."

Among others who spoke at the event were Margalida Ramis, spokesperson for La Vida al Centre project and the environmentalists GOB. Representatives from Més attended, although the party isn't part of the BUP. They criticised the state's "mistreatment" of the Balearics and called again for the right to self-determination.