Saturday's mass demonstration against mass tourism in Palma. | Pere Bota


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The organisers of the large demonstration that brought together thousands of people in Palma on Saturday have warned that they will continue to take to the streets until the Balearic government takes action and adopts measures against the housing emergency and tourist overcrowding.

“This has only just begun”, assured Javier Barbero, one of the organisers of the demonstration.
He is confident that the demonstration has helped the government to take “immediate measures” to stop the property collapse, and one of the measures he mentions as a matter of urgency is that the Balearics should be declared a housing hot spot and that the state law should be applied.
“If the reality is denied and still no measures are taken, we will take to the streets until they act,” he said.

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Barbero believes that number of measures that can be taken with immediate effect already exist, such as limiting the rise in rental prices, something that the Balearic president, Marga Prohens, has already said she will not do. In fact, the president insisted that she will not cap rents.
“We wanted to denounce the housing situation, but we also believe that we have to rethink the tourism model with respect,” he said. “We are not saying ‘no’ to tourism,” Barbero said.

“The response was amazing and beyond all expectations,” added Barbero.
“The size of the demonstration reflects the feeling of the suffocation of the citizens”.
He insists that this has only just begun because it is urgent to act against the “dramatic” housing emergency.

Tourism generates 45% of the islands’ gross domestic product, according to data from Exceltur, an industry organisation.

“We want the authorities to stop people who have not lived here more than five years from buying properties and to put more controls on holiday accommodation,” said Carme Reines, from a collective which organised the protest in Palma de Mallorca.