With the Balearic government and the local business community on a war footing as the tension between the two blocks over the tourist tax and the tourism crisis reaches fever pitch, leader of the Majorca Unionist party and the Insular Council of Majorca, Maria Antonia Munar is doing her best to keep her distance from the meleé. Munar, whose party is part of the coalition local government, has given the government her support, although she has suggested that the introduction of the tax should be delayed until after the summer. Yesterday she repeated “we will continue to support the government,” but was quick to add “if I was the leader of the Balearics, I would not want the responsibility of the crisis in the tourist industry being our fault.” Munar is worried, though, that one of the consequences of the tax's immediate introduction will be a loss of jobs in the hotel sector, for which she says the government and those in favour of the tax's introduction in May will be held responsible. Munar is adamant that the tax should be postponed until at least September, allowing more time for the tourist industry to assess the damage caused by September 11. “Had we been looking ahead to a good summer season, the hotel sector would have little reason to oppose the tax, they have no social backing, but considering the bleak outlook, the hoteliers are right,” she said. “We've got to take some extra time to reflect on the situation and leave the tax for another day,” Munar said, pointing out that she has made her party's opinion clear to Balearic leader Francesc Antich who, so far, has not taken any advice from people outside his left-wing cabinet. But, over the past week, further evidence has been produced to demonstrate that the Balearic tourists industry is facing a severe crisis this year and the ball is back in President Antich's court. However, Antich received a further boost to his tax drive from the Majorcan socialist party. At a meeting of its chief executive, the May 1 enforcement of the tax was unanimously supported.

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