One mega-cruise ship per day to be permitted. | Archive

The agreement between the Balearic government and the Cruise Lines International Association regarding the limitation of the number of cruise ships in Palma has been described as "insufficient" and "inadequate".

The Platform Against Mega-Cruise Ships responded to Monday's announcement of new arrangements as from next year by expressing its disappointment "after more than two and a half years demanding limits on a tourism model with very high environmental, health and social impacts on the city". Three ships a day (one of them, a mega-cruise ship) is "still a very high figure for what the city can bear, given the enormous pollution from these ships".

The collective of groups opposed to large cruise ships is also critical of the fact that some 6,000 or 7,000 people will arrive in the centre of Palma, "with the consequent overcrowding of public spaces and changes to the economic dynamics and types of shop where these flows of tourists pass". As the agreement envisages exceptional days (at least twenty per annum) when four ships can be in port, "the current situation may not change much".

The government, the platform believes, "has missed the opportunity to make a courageous decision to safeguard the inhabitants of the Balearics, their environment, their health and their right to the city".

The agreement, which is for five years, will mean "five years of air pollution, five years of gases that are harmful to the public health of residents and passengers, five years of unbearable human pressure, five years against the 2030 Agenda".

The spokesperson for Podemos in Palma, Jesús Jurado, has called the agreement "inadequate". "It is not the result of consensus," he says, and he is urging a continuation of negotiation "with greater environmental awareness". The limit on the number of ships and a maximum of 8,500 cruise passengers per day do not solve the problems of serious overcrowding and contamination.