The man who devised the 1992 campaign, A Tourist, A Friend, slammed the proposed tourist tax yesterday claiming that it was “ridiculous” and “anti-European”. City councillor Joan Bauza, who presided over the campaign as part of a drive to attract more holidaymakers to Palma, said that the rainbow coalition, which governs in the Balearics, could severely damage the tourist industry. “Our wealth comes directly from tourism, that is the bottom-line,” Bauza told the Bulletin yesterday. The city councillor asked how the Balearic government could charge fellow Europeans when they wanted to come on holiday here. “It is completely anti-European and goes against the principles of the Maastricht Treaty,” he said. Bauza said that of course all local authorities wanted more money. “My department would love to have a greater budget. To introduce a new tax you have to have a legitimate reason. This tax is not viable or legitimate.” Bauza continued “before you decide to go-ahead with a project you must be sure that you are in possession of all the facts and all the relevant information. The local government announced that they wanted to introduce a tourist tax before they had even looked into its legality. They hadn't even thought how they were going to levy it. First they tried the airport but the authorities refused. Then they tried the hire-car companies and they refused and now they simply do not know what to do.” Bauza also criticised the five-party coalition over the water fiasco. “The city council and the central administration in Madrid invested thousands of millions of pesetas in the water desalination plant.

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