The Insular Council of Majorca yesterday voted against a motion to ask the local government to temporarily suspend the introduction of the tourist tax. The motion was tabled by spokesperson for the Partido Popular, former Minister for Tourism Joan Flaquer, during yesterday's council meeting. “This has been the worst winter for tourism and bookings for the summer are currently down by 35 per cent,” Flaquer told the council. Flaquer said that the primary reasons for the decline in bookings are the “negative messages” being given out by the Balearic government. He accused the coalition government of thinking too much about electoral interests as opposed to the general interests of the Balearics. But, Flaquer found few supporters outside his own opposition party. Spokesperson for the United Left-Green party, Marilena Tugores, disagreed that a slight increase in price will lead to a decline in tourism. The PSM nationalist party's Bernat Aguiló, called on the PP to withdraw its appeal lodged against the tax in the Madrid courts “then perhaps we'll approve the motion.” PSOE socialist party councillor Francina Armengol said that the time has come to decide on the tourist model the Balearics wants “we need a tax in order to protect the environment and out surroundings,” she said. Majorcan Union party spokesperson, Miquel Nadal, agreed that tourists should participate in maintaining and protecting the environment, pointing out that the government has already spent considerable amounts of money on improving roads, hospitals, water and sewage “extra costs caused by tourism.”

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