Sixty-eight per cent of shops in Majorca have reported a drop in sales so far this year, compared to the same period last year, particularly in tourist resorts, according to Pau Bellinfante, chairman of Afedeco, the shop owners federation. He said that the tourist tax had aggravated the problem. According to Bellinfante, sales in tourist resorts dropped 18 per cent in the first five months of the year, and those in Palma were down by 14 per cent. He was quoting from a survey conducted among shopkeepers. The report shows that 51 per cent of shopkeepers believe that this year has been worse than last, while 68 per cent admit that sales in their shops have gone down. Bellinfante denied that the drop in sales had been caused by an increase in prices because of the euro switch over, and insisted that it was closely related to the drop in tourism in Majorca. He added that the introduction of the tourist tax, “a bad tourist policy by the government which we will all pay,” was a major cause in the drop in tourism, because of the bad publicity it generated. “This is a tourist region,” he said, “and when there is a bad season, sales drop because there is less money in circulation.” He also said that even the volume of sales at the airport had been affected, and business in April was 20 per cent down compared to the same month last year. He said that he would seek a meeting with Balearic leader Francesc Antich to explain the situation to him.

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