Lluís Apesteguia of Més. | Pilar Pellicer


Més per Mallorca was founded, under this name, in 2013, a political entity in which the main constituent was the PSM Mallorcan Socialist Party. Often dubbed as 'eco-nationalists', the party has been a coalition partner in the two administrations since 2015. If the election for the Balearic parliament in May next year proves to be favourable to a third term for the coalition with PSOE and Podemos, there has nevertheless been a question as to whether Més will remain part of this pact.

Lluís Apesteguia, the mayor of Deya, is the Més coordinator and candidate to be Balearic president. He insists that the party's stance is firm. "If we are not able to lead the government in 2023, the objective will be to achieve this in 2027. This does not mean that Més will renounce participating in the government, but nor does it mean that Més will enter the government. The formula will be decided by the members. If PSOE were to lead the government, we would have to negotiate in a way so that we feel comfortable."

Apesteguia says that he was critical on a personal level of the agreements for government reached in 2019. "These did not reflect the weight or the contribution of Més per Mallorca to that majority. Although we have managed to carry out some proposals, the negotiation of a future pact will have to be on other terms." (At the 2019 election, Més lost two of the six seats, out of a total of 59, that the party had achieved in 2015.)

There have been a number of disagreements between Més and the government partners, PSOE in particular. A high-profile issue has concerned tourism promotion. Apesteguia explains that promotion is just one matter. "It is not the main issue and nor is it the nuclear element of our disagreements."

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Fundamental to differences with President Armengol's PSOE is that while the Balearic government advocates a decrease in tourist numbers, "we cannot control something that goes against that approach - the airport".

Management of the airport is the responsibility of the state government, which means PSOE and Podemos, and the government "is heading in a different direction to ours". "We can set limits but we can't control the entrance. This is a contradiction that must be resolved. It cannot be that we wish to go one way and the Spanish government in another. We want a new relationship with the state and to be able to participate in the management of the airport."

Another well-publicised row concerned the naming rights sponsorship of Real Mallorca's stadium, when Més came close to quitting the coalition administration at the Council of Mallorca (the same three parties as the Balearic government).

Apesteguia says that this created "a very difficult moment". "I think that PSOE lacked the political intelligence to relate to its partners. It was a crisis that wasn't caused by Més. No party in coalition governments can make unilateral decisions, but in this case there was. The only positive thing is that it became clear that this could never happen again."