Whatever action the Majorcan Hotel Federation decide to take this morning in its bid to block the tourist tax, Balearic President Francesc Antich said yesterday that it will be introduced “with or without them.” Antich yesterday repeated his claim that the tax, due for enforcement on March 1, “is beyond the point of no return.” He did however also repeat his offer to those parties interested in discussing the tax and its introduction that his “door is open.” But he said that the mere fact that there are parties opposed to the levy, does not mean it will not become a reality. Antich struck back at comments made by Environment Minister Jaume Matas (pictured) over the weekend, disputing Matas's claim that the tax will be paid by Balearic residents as opposed to tourists, although all Balearic residents spending a weekend at a local hotel will be charged the tax, while tourists staying in unregistered accommodation or with family and friends will slip through the net. The Balearic Small-Medium sized Business Association, the only body to have publically spoken in support of the levy, yesterday asked the local Tourism Minister to reduce the cost of the tourist tax during its first year in effect in order to help ease its introduction and reduce the tension between the government and the tourism industry.

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