Could the Balearic hotel sector have got the upper hand over the local government with the Balearic Tourism Minister Celesti Alomar yesterday saying that he is prepared to give ground to the hotel sector in order to improve relations and the general situation of the tourist industry? Alomar however, says that neither he nor the government is prepared to give in to the hotel sector's wishes over the controversial tourist tax - -which is causing the divide between the two parties. This week the Balearic government, led by Chief Minister Francesc Antich, will be sitting down for another round of talks with the local hotel industry. The primary aim of the talks is to improve relations which have suffered over the tourist tax with the hotel sector adamantly against its introduction. Alomar said yesterday that he is extremely worried about a “negative image” which is being reflected in studies carried out by the Balearic government and tour operators. He explained that the next round of talks is “an attempt to negotiate and create a positive image.” Alomar is prepared to give some ground to the hoteliers and meet some of their demands in an amiable environment. But he was keen to stress that while the government may be prepared to appease the hotel sector for the sake of the tourist industry and the Balearic economy, he is not going to be turning back on the government's tourist tax policy. “This government can not stop defending the general interests of the public which was the electoral mandate of the Progressive Pact,” he said. During the meeting Alomar hopes to be able to discuss a number of the tourist industry's problems, of which the Minister claims there are many. With Easter and the summer season just around the corner, Alomar is running out of time to try and regain the co-operation and confidence of the hotel industry. But with the main bone of contention being the tourist tax, the Minister has his work cut out and the hotel sector have made their feelings of disapproval quite clear.

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