Last Sunday, April 29th, between 5,000 and 10,000 protesters congregated on the beach of Es Trenc in opposition to a change in the planning law that now would allow the construction of a new hotel complex with 1,200 beds right on the boundaries of the protected Nature Reserve of Es Trenc-Salobrar de Campos. The change had come into law only two weeks earlier, on April 12th, when before that date no such construction would have been allowed anywhere near Mallorca’s coastline. The change of heart was legally made possible by the conservative PP party now having a majority mandate in the Consell de Mallorca, in the Balearic government as well as in the central government in Madrid.
We are reminded a bit of Aesop’s fable of the Goose that laid the golden eggs where we got wise to the fact that greed, foolishness and avarice may well kill off the source of one’s good fortune.
The battle for Es Trenc began in 1978 when a similar citizen protest had sparked off a motion which ultimately, in 1984, lead to the current protection of this virgin dune landscape as an Àrea Natural d’Especial Interès.
In 1977, similar citizens’ action was needed to help declare the island of Sa Dragonera a protected Nature Reserve. There, some investors had proposed to build a massive hotel, a casino and a yacht club. The protesters took the battle to court and succeeded in having the developers’ plans declared illegal. Dragonera island was subsequently bought by the Consell de Mallorca in 1988, and later, in 1994, declared Parque Natural de Dragonera.
Perhaps the matter of Es Trenc will also have to go to court. Whether justice is actually blind in Spain will have to be seen to be believed. Some people doubt it, not least after the recent Baltasar Garzón debacle.
Both photos were borrowed from the Internet, the top one courtesy of diariodemallorca.es, GOB and the photographer, B. Perelló. The photo (bottom) was borrowed courtesy of estelnegre.balearweb.net, showing a historic protest gathering in Palma’s Plaça d’Espanya in 1979.
Muchas gracias, and