Balearic President Francesc Antich (right) is sticking to his guns over the tourist tax, despite the flood of criticism from across the country and Europe. From international tourism experts to local captains of industry, there have been scores of demands for the March 1 introduction of the tax to be at least suspended, but Antich is determined to see the levy in place within the next six weeks. “It is at the point of no return,” Antich said yesterday when asked about the pan-European war of words he has caused. Antich said the critics have failed to come up with anything new and that the government is well aware of their arguments against the tax. But, he did admit that he is prepared to talk with the conflicting parties. “The most important thing is that it (the tax) is in the interests of the general public,” Antich said, adding that the Balearics have been calling for the government to take steps to ease development and invest in the environment. “I have never seen such a commotion about an issue such as the tourist tax when central government has just increased the price of fuel and hiked port and airport taxes,” he said. He also repeated his pledge that funds raised by the tax will not only be spent to the benefit of the business sector, but also the tourists themselves, allowing then to enjoy a well preserved and protected environment. “All we're trying to do is help the future of the tourism industry,” he said.

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