Biel Barceló in parliament yesterday.

16-05-2017Teresa Ayuga

The tourism minister, Biel Barceló, yesterday blamed the Partido Popular for the current problem with holiday rentals. "We have a genuine problem because their law (the 2012 tourism law) did not pursue what is illegal."

The PP's tourism spokesperson, Álvaro Gijón, accused the government of not having its own tourism model. "There is only the Podemos model. They want tourism to disappear. The biggest defenders of the hoteliers are you (the government), while the future mayor of Palma, Antoni Noguera, has asked for one thing and the PSOE mayor (José Hila) says the opposite." This was a reference to the banning or not of holiday rentals in Palma.

Barceló responded by attacking the PP's tourism management capabilities and said that the new law for holiday rentals will open the way for there to be rentals in apartment buildings while also establishing a ceiling on numbers. The existing law of the PP didn't solve any problem, he insisted.

Gijón wanted to know what Barceló thought about the recent study by two professors at the University of the Balearic Islands. Their conclusions indicated that holiday rentals are providing income to families who in the majority of cases do not live off tourism. Rentals, therefore, spread the wealth of tourism "more equitably, which is what the parties of the left want".

Barceló said that the government respects all the studies undertaken by the university. The professors' report, he added, has some very interesting aspects. "But it has not taken into account other issues, which different research has revealed." He specifically referred to another university study which linked evictions to the increase in holiday rentals.

President Armengol, meanwhile, insisted that the number of tourists coming in winter lends support to the government's tourism model. This is one which is "sustainable, with quality and respectful of the land" and will allow a greater spread of wealth through employment of greater quality.

Significant measures have been adopted, she said, for lengthening the tourism season in winter, and she highlighted the conversion of resorts such as Magalluf. She also stressed the fact that the government is defending workers' rights in the tourism sector "more than ever before".

The president was replying to the PP's Marga Prohens, who accused the government of improvising and of preparing a law for holiday rentals "that will create problems that there weren't". 

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John / Hace 3 months

Barceló is the biggest problem that tourism has. Sack him and all his fiddlers now !

+1-

Steve Riches / Hace 3 months

Barcelo - tourism including holiday rentals brings the wealth that keeps illogical-thinking people like you in a job on a good income.

+4-

Ged / Hace 3 months

Do the passengers of cruise ships have to pay the tourism tax?

+1-

Ron / Hace 3 months

Well he would blame the P.P. wouldn't he? Blame anybody but himself. Why is this man and his cronies still in power? Already guilty of feeding contracts to his pals. He should have gone three weeks ago. This summer his disatrous tourist tax will confirm what we all say. (What a farce when 2 hotel workers lodging in one of their apartments have to pay this!!) Tourists will go elsewhere. This island has now priced itself out of an annual holiday for the majority of families. But that's what he wants of course - only bleed the rich. And his Podemos pal - sub-letting a property to tourists without declaring the profits. But that's ok for the elite in the Politburo. Let's find out how many more of them are renting out, and getting their licenses rubber stamped.! Still - I suppose even Stalin rented out his dacha.

+6-

Frank / Hace 3 months

Barceló is an idiot, and has to go and work for a living somewhere. Evictions aren't caused by holiday rentals, they're caused by the tenant not paying the rent. Duh....

+8-

Steve, Palma Nova / Hace 3 months

What am I missing here, - what is the problem with holiday rentals ? Mallorca is a successful holiday island, if they want to regulate something, whatever it is, firstly you have to legalise it. An illegal activity is not regulated, it's prohibited.

+7-