Days after Greenpeace activists repainted a half-finished hotel resort to spell out “Hotel Ilegal,” hundreds of residents of the nearby town staged their own protest to support the controversial Hotel Algarrobico development.
New signs on the hotel proclaimed, “Hotel sí, Trabajo sí” (“Hotel, yes, Work, yes”). The group also painted over Greenpeace’s sign to make it read, “Hotel Legal.”
“Honestly, the residents want the hotel to open,” event organiser Pascual Diaz told Olive Press. “We don’t know if it’s legal or not, but it would mean a great boost in employment in the area.”
The hotel, which sits on an undeveloped stretch of coastline, has been the subject of deep controversy for years. In 2006 the courts ruled the half-finished Hotel Algarrobico was illegally approved for a site reserved for pristine parkland.
While the developers and local government agencies battled the courts, the giant white building became a symbol for environmentalists, who used the hotel’s construction as a symbol of the excess of the building boom.
The hotel was scheduled for demolition, but in April an Andalusia court overturned the ruling, throwing the future of the project in doubt.
If nothing else, this week’s protests were a sign the controversy over the project is sure to continue. Greenpeace certainly made it clear it is ready to continue the fight over the project. The protest this week was described as its largest-ever in Spain, attracting 100 protesters.
Greenpeace calls the hotel “the black spot on the Spanish coast.”