CONSERVATIVES CALL FOR ALOMAR´S RESIGNATION

BALEARIC tourism minister Celestí Alomar hit out at local hoteliers, calling them “colonels“ and accusing them of “acting like troops." He made his attack while answering a question in Parliament put by Popular Party deputy Joan Huguet. Huguet had called on Alomar to “bring peace to the tourist sector” after criticising him for his claims, made at the end of January, that the hoteliers were more interested in causing confrontations than solving the problems derived from the tourist crisis. Alomar replied that the “PP is used to defending certain tourist impresarios but nothing happens,” adding that “the hoteliers have realised that the PP will not win the elections, and so the ‘colonels' have decided to take the front line. The colonels are now acting like a troop,” he said, a clear allusion to the posture of a group of leading hoteliers who have criticised the government's tourist policy. Earlier the PP had called for Alomar's resignation, alleging he had “lied” to Parliament over the purchase of the land and buildings at Son Serra de Marina, claiming that the coastal authority had informed the ministry of the state of the urbanisation beforehand. Deputy Francesc Fiol claimed that “it is not the first time” that Alomar has not told the truth. But Alomar insisted that the purchase and demolition of the Son Serra buildings had been carried out following strict procedure. He said that the PP's attitude showed that they were “very nervous” about the forthcoming elections. “Because of lack of ideas, their only strategy is to make news and confuse public opinion,” Alomar said. He added that it should be made clear that the ministry has achieved its objective of preserving an area and regenerating the dunes in this area in the north of Majorca. The PP maintains that the price paid for the land, 1.9 million euros, was too much, and the builder should have paid for the demolition. The Greens called for the opening of a parliamentary committee to investigate the purchase and that of land in Ses Salines, Ibiza, with tourist tax money.

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