Majorca Daily Bulletin

News | Balearics

Antich says eco tax is no joke, was anybody laughing?

The Balearic government is starting to feel the pressure and realise the enormity of the level of opposition to the tourist tax. Yesterday Chief Minister Francesc Antich said in Ibiza that his government is prepared to delay introducing the tax if the sectors involved with the project can come up with some viable alternatives and justifiable arguments. Antich said that, in principle, the government intends to approve the project on June 16 so that it can be motioned in Parliament in September. But Antich said that having spoken to a number of the sectors involved in the tax, such as hoteliers, travel agents, airlines and the airport authority, all of which oppose the level, he is prepared to postpone the project's approval, providing there are intelligent arguments. However, Antich was keen to stamp on any suggestions that he is backing down over the tax and that the whole reason for the tax being thrown open to public debate was to reach the best solution. Antich said the tourist tax is an “important objective” for his government as it is the “necessary instrument for improving tourism while saving the environment.” But this week the head of the Balearic Chamber of Commerce said that the government has to bring in the tourist tax, otherwise it knows it is going to lose credibility. Antich warned the hoteliers that he and his government are serious about the tax - “we are not joking” - probably just as serious as the hotel sector is about wanting nothing to do with collecting the tax and the possibility of taking legal action against the government. The hoteliers have made it clear they see no point in even negotiating any further.

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