EXCLUSIVE: Mallorca anti-tourism activists Arran warn they will ramp up campaign

Left-wing protest movement that targetted Palma restaurant says fines won't stop them

LAST UPDATED: 18 Aug, 2017 @ 14:04
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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW

ANTI-TOURISM protesters have vowed to step up their campaign in Mallorca.

In an exclusive interview with the Olive Press, a defiant Arran spokesperson added the anarchist group was not worried about a €1,200 fine for targeting a Palma restaurant popular with holidaymakers.

‘MORE TO COME’: Fines won’t stop us, vow Arran

“It won’t affect our summer campaign in the slightest bit,” he said. “And when the fine actually arrives – if it arrives – we will appeal it in the first instance.”

The hard-left activists, who are 500 strong between Catalunya and Mallorca, recently joined forces to plaster 1,000 rental cars with anti-tourism stickers.

They have also held protests outside busy restaurants.

It led to Spanish PM Mariano Rajoy to condemn Arran’s ‘crazy’ actions, with the group hitting back accusing him of ‘giving little importance’ to concerns over ‘unsustainable’ tourism.

“We will continue to carry out all the actions we have planned this summer,” the spokesman, who refused to give his name, told the Olive Press this week.

“We know tourism is something we can’t avoid, but we want people who come to enjoy our island to realise they are contributing to the contamination and destruction of Mallorca.”

While refusing to give details of specific protests, Arran’s current campaign wants to ‘ban tourist flats, regulate rental prices and expropriate the main tourist businesses’.

The spokesperson added: “The current situation is incompatible with (locals leading) a dignified life. A change in the economic model of the island is necessary.

“We don’t want to damage it, we want to change it.”

Arran, linked to the radical-left group CUP, says its broad aims are to promote ‘feminism, independence and socialism’.

Last month, 20 protesters stormed a Palma restaurant, letting off smoke flares and spraying diners with confetti as they unveiled anti-tourist banners.

In Barcelona, Arran activists have vandalised tourist rental bikes and graffitied a tour bus, but the group claims its controversial actions are justified.

“It is necessary to pressurise the government to find solutions,” the spokesperson continued.

“We want tourists to see they have to consume responsibly so we can all enjoy this island.”

Large tourist companies, the Balearic Islands government and Madrid are to blame for Mallorca’s ‘saturation’, the spokesperson claimed.

During a visit to Palma last week, Rajoy raged: “What we can’t do is kick people who come here to spend money. That seems to me to be crazy.”

Rafael Gallego, chair of the Spanish Association of Travel Agents (Feaav), branded the protesters ‘fascists’ and said he feared their actions will get worse.

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