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Five hundred protest against demolition of Palma beach restaurant

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On Sunday, some 500 people gathered at the El Bungalow restaurant in Ciudad Jardín, Palma to protest against a Costas Authority demolition order. The demonstrators formed a human chain around the restaurant and heard the owner, Maleni Bonet, explain that the building is more than 100 years old and is part of the history of Ciudad Jardín.

Four generations of women have kept the spirit of the restaurant alive over the years, she said, adding that “this is how we Mallorcans want to experience the coast”. The restaurant is an example of sustainability and recycling, while the Coasts Law is “like a steamroller”. Each case should be considered individually, she argued, noting that there will be elections next year and that by the time these are held, it will be authorities in the Balearics, and not those of the state, who have the powers. (Responsibilities for the coasts are due to be transferred to the Balearic government.)

The president of the Coll d’en Rabassa residents association, Joan Forteza, said that his association will be calling for the demolition process to be stopped and for Palma town hall to initiate the process for the building to be included in the catalogue of protected assets as an example of “popular heritage”. “The law has to defend the general interest, but it cannot be indiscriminate; it has to have exceptions. The law can do more harm than good.”

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Opposition parties at the town hall were all represented at the protest, but the strongest voices in support of El Bungalow were arguably those of entertainers who are very well known in Mallorca.

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Comedian Agustín ‘el Casta’ accused the environmentalists GOB, who are insisting that the Costas go ahead with the demolition order, of having an inquisitorial attitude. “We are all ecologically aware and we defend the landscape, but we also demand a lifestyle and to be able to enjoy our things as well as common sense in applying laws.” It shouldn’t just be “rich foreigners” who get to enjoy the coast.

Riki López, a comedy singer, announced that he had given up his membership of GOB and encouraged those present to do the same. “They used to be cool,” he observed, but they are now more about demolition.

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