Podemos is going after private jets on one of Spain’s most popular party islands.
The anti-austerity party that controls Ibiza’s government in coalition with the Socialists is opposing the expansion of private-jet lots at the island’s airport because it is “elitist” and only benefits the mega-wealthy. Podemos argued in a statement this week that private flights fuel social injustice and damage the environment. The party wants to use the money instead to spruce up public areas instead.
Ibiza has become a vacation hot spot for wealthy visitors, international DJs and celebrities from Leonardo Dicaprio to Kim Kardashian. The island of about 112,000 inhabitants welcomed a record number of visitors in August, with 1.3 million people arriving, many drawn by the combination of secluded beaches and trendy clubs.
Spain’s state-owned airport operator Aena SA wants to exploit the top end of the market by increasing the room for private planes on the island. Ibiza airport can currently accommodate 25 private jets and the planned expansion would allow it to handle as many as 12 more. At peak times, the capacity restrictions leave jets circling the airport waiting for a landing slot, according to an Aena spokeswoman.
According to Podemos, the plan “aims to hijack space” for the pleasure of rich foreigners who treat Ibiza as a party ground without any consideration for the people of the island.
Spain’s tourism industry is on track for a record year with the government forecasting 68 million visitors for the whole of 2015.
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