The continuing battle between Ibiza residents and tourists has taken a further twist with the forming of “Prou!”, a new pressure group that wants to combat the “abuses of tourism” that many feel are occurring on the island.
Prou held it’s first public meeting last week at the ‘Club Diario de Ibiza’ filling the auditorium and exceeding its 200 capacity, a sign of the growing discontent of the direction the island is going.
Vicent Planells, a former bank manager, explained that the group has emerged spontaneously through Facebook. “We are ordinary Ibiza people who are fed up with what is happening on the Island”
The group announced that it will hold “peaceful and silent” protests against harmful or illegal tourism activities when institutional action does not work. To do this the group has “a hundred people to perform these actions,” explained Sandra Serra.
Historian and teacher Neus Escandell opened the meeting by saying that “tourism must serve to improve the quality of life, not to make it worse.” Highlighting the importance of the industry to the economy of the island but saying that “the culprits are not tourists but businessmen and politicians who have allowed us to reach the current situation,” characterised by the “privatisation” of the the beaches, noise pollution and illegalities of some companies.
Lawyer Rosa Redolat said it would be sufficient if existing laws were enforced. “There is a general feeling of passivity and neglect. Had laws been enforced from the outset we would not have come this far”. Redolat said whilst accusing politicians of “passing the buck to each other” citing a lack of coordination with the posidonia* situation or the large mansion given the go ahead to be built on protected land near Cala d’Hort.
School teacher Agustin Garcia further explained “the word collapse is on everyone’s lips, Ibiza is in danger of becoming a theme park due to lack of control, tourism must have limits, as a matter of survival”.
Vicent Planells continued “the whole island is being converted into a one large discotheque. A hotel is a nightclub, a boat is a nightclub and a country house also becomes a nightclub.”
Prou reinforced this by inviting a child to explain that on the night of Space Closing the music was so loud that inside his bedroom it felt like he was in the nightclub.
Prou! has promised regular meetings and is preparing a strategy for the coming months and summer 2017.
*Posidonia oceanica (commonly known as Neptune Grass or Mediterranean tapeweed) is a seagrass species that is endemic to the Mediterranean Sea. It forms large underwater meadows that are an important part of the ecosystem.
Source: Diario de Ibiza