No limit on tourist numbers

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Balearic president Francina Armengol has ruled out any limits on the number of tourists entering the island despite calls from opposition parties and environmental groups to act.

The issue has dominated politics of the island communities throughout the year.

But cautioning against any radical measures in the aftermath of what the industry has acknowledged has been an exceptional year, Armengol did admit the summer had seen unsustainable excesses

Opposition parties, Mes and Podemos, have demanded a limit on tourist numbers, a policy strongly supported by many environmentalists. 

But Armengol said the best policy was a flexible approach given that global insecurity and terrorism made Mallorca a more inviting option for holidaymakers than destinations like Turkey, Tunisia and Egypt.

Speaking at the Balearic parliament in Mallorca on Tuesday as storm clouds gathered on the island for the first time in months, the president pledged to improve the quality of life for locals, without issuing an ‘anti-tourist’ message.

Announcing the controversial eco-tax which took effect in July had raised some €32 million, she described it as a brave move in keeping with her government’s stance on social welfare, green policies and public infrastructure. 

One measure she did commit the government to is stronger regulations targeting private holiday rentals, many of which operate outside the legal framework. 

Such measures are likely to be incorporated in a new Housing Act next year.

On a lighter note, an embarrassing leak revealed that PSOE members were told to applaud at key moments during their leader’s 35-minute long speech through a series of synchronised Whatsapp messages.   

 

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