The Balearic government has written a letter of complaint to the German Ambassador to Spain over Air Berlin's criticism of the tourist tax. The German airline, in its on board welcome letter to passengers, blatantly criticises the tourist tax and Balearic politicians for their “arrogance and vanity” in imposing the tax. A spokesperson said that the local government is “concerned” about the statements made about the Balearics in the letter, highlighting the “good relationship between Germany and the Balearics.” Air Berlin has defended its right to criticise the tax “in its position as a European Union member state company and one with interests in the Balearics.” Director of Air Berlin in the Balearics, Joachim Hunold, disappointed about the fuss the letter has caused, defended the air line's decision to print the letter, adding that the airline and the local government are continuing to co-operate on a number of initiatives. Air Berlin was the first airline to establish a “hub” at Palma airport, operating a host of connections between Spanish and German cities. What is more the airline is not the only German business to criticise the tax. The Association of Travel Agents and Tour Operators is considering taking the Balearic government to court in Brussels on the grounds that the tax is discriminatory and infringes on European Union citizens' right to free movement.

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