Cars in Formentor.

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The Balearic environment minister, Miquel Mir, said on Tuesday that overcrowding in Mallorca and the Balearics this summer is "clearly a reality". He stated that "the limits have been pushed in a quite remarkable way". "It is a situation that must be described as it is, without taboos."

Mir was at an event in Cala Murta (Formentor). Saying that the islands are this summer "experiencing unprecedented overcrowding", he added that "this is leading to a situation of negative social perception". There is "obvious saturation" and not just in protected natural areas.

Warning that natural resources, especially water, face "serious problems", the minister observed that the Balearics have been pioneers in launching ambitious environmental policies for a "much more sustainable future society". However, he argued that it is clear that regulatory initiatives, such as the planning decree for Mallorca's land, have not been enough. "These islands need containment and de-growth."

"Population decrease, especially of the tourist population, will have to seriously be put on the table."