TOURISM MINISTER WILL BE INVITED TO VISIT MUNICIPALITY

MEMBERS of the Popular Party (PP) on the Pollensa town council will invite Balearic tourist minister Celestí Alomar to visit the town to explain the results of his department's campaign to legalise holiday flats in the municipality. Joan Comas, the PP spokesman, made a proposal at Thursday's plenary meeting, calling on the council to ask the minister to keep his promise and return to the town, as he promised to do last February. “From the PP, we call on Celestí Alomar to keep his promises,” Comas said, adding “it was not by chance that he came just one week before the general elections.” The application of the General Law on Tourism, drawn up during the previous legislature, implies the legalisation of all flats which are let for holiday purposes in the islands. Up to the time of the legislation, their situation had been described as “alegal”. The period for carrying out the necessary paper work and obtaining a licence expired in May, but the minister, at the request of the Pollensa council, granted an extention until June 31. It is not known how many licences have been granted in that period. There are an estimated 1'000 holiday flats in Pollensa and most of them have difficulty in obtaining a licence because of infractions of town planning regulations. The Balearic government is cracking down on holiday flats in connection with its controversial tourist tax. As matters stand, only tourists who stay in hotels will be charged the tax. Hoteliers are up in arms about this, claiming that the tax is both unfair and iscriminatory. They say that many people are staying in holiday flats, many of which have not been declared for tax purposes and lack the necessary permits. They back their claim by pointing out the discrepancy between airport figures and hotel occupancy.

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