Jaime Martínez, the new mayor of Palma. | MDB

Jaime Martínez is the new mayor of Palma. To him, as he has said, falls the burden of responsibility for Spain's eighth largest city in terms of population. A one-time Balearic tourism minister, he will head a Partido Popular administration that will govern Palma in minority. In reference to Vox, he insists that he hasn't excluded anyone from the administration.

"What I have done is to comply with what I said during the campaign, which was that if I had a sufficiently large majority, and the left did not have enough to govern, I would do so in minority. I don't know why anyone should be surprised that I have done what I promised."

Other promises include getting tough on security, vandalism, antisocial behaviour, cleanliness and scooters.

"We will need as much support as possible from the local police. One of my first visits as mayor has been to the San Fernando headquarters to give my full support to the force and to learn what is needed so that objectives can be met. When we talk about getting tough, we are talking about enforcing the rules. But to do that we must have police presence and control."

Crash plans that the mayor intends include one for graffiti. The new councillor responsible for the Emaya municipal services agency has been asked to develop a strategy to eliminate graffiti from the city.

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"At the same time, we must amend ordinance and toughen sanctions. A clean-up crash plan is needed to reverse the current image of the city. There has been inertia and neglect. It is difficult to tackle some things immediately - such as cleanliness, squatting and abandoned cars - so the first thing we have to do is slow down the dynamics and then improve. All of this has to be done through ordinance and enforcement. Last year, Palma was the third dirtiest city in Spain, and the previous administration has now managed to make us the first. Stopping this dynamic is obviously complex, but we have already started."

Asked if he has declared war on scooters, he is very clear. "Absolutely. What is certain is that pedestrians cannot coexist with bicycles and scooters; they are incompatible. These vehicles cannot be allowed on pavements. They need segregated lanes, so that will entail studying technical alternatives. You have to find a balance and, through the municipal mobility plan, ensure that those who ride a bike or scooter can circulate in the best way and have an adequate network of lanes." In his view, the previous administration was announcing mobility measures without endorsement by technical reports compiled by people who know their subject.

A key issue for the mayor is the lack of affordable housing. For him, the housing problem is structural. Crucial for tackling it will be the investiture of Marga Prohens as president of the Balearic government, so that she can approve a decree law on urgent housing measures that has been worked on in recent months.

"I will need this legal tool in order to, among other things, facilitate public-private cooperation to create housing for affordable rent, enable change of use, and provide incentives for housing development without consuming more land. There is a range of proposals aimed at a rapid implementation of solutions, including providing legal certainty to owners of empty homes so that these can enter the rental market. We have to ensure that owners are paid the monthly rents and to establish incentives. Anyone who joins this programme will have a cap on the rental price so as to make the property affordable. But we will do this through incentive, not obligation. We will not force anyone to rent a property at a given price. It will be voluntary and with incentives."

Among other issues is the tram project. Martínez said during the election campaign that he didn't want the tram system as it has been planned. The Spanish government has promised 185 million euros, and he will demand this investment for Palma's mobility. "But not for a tram that would create more problems in areas through which it would pass. My proposal is to allocate that money to electrify the EMT bus fleet. A tram is a fixed structure, and that is from the last century. We have to address frequencies and bus routes so as to improve the service. The tram, as it has been presented, would double the time it takes to get to the airport, so we would not be improving public transport. And if 4,500 parking spaces were to be eliminated, we would not be improving mobility either."