Political parties are trying to woo the foreign vote with the local elections just a few months away at the end of May. And this time round, it appears that foreigners appear to be one of the burning issues. How many foreign residents will turn out to vote remains to be seen, judging by my experience, fewer than most parties expect.

Nevertheless, all the parties are talking about foreigners at the moment and whether they should or should not be allowed to purchase a property on the island unless they comply with certain requisites such as having been a resident here for at least two years.

These proposals have come from minor nationalist parties, Pi and MÉS, and in order to not anger her coalition partners MÉS, whose votes she will need, President Francina Armengol, has welcomed a ‘conversation’ about the proposals which break EU law and, as she was forced to admit this week, lie in the hands of Brussels, neither Palma nor Madrid.

Then, in the blue ring, the centre right Partido Popular have launched their counter offer, promising a totally open door approach with tax cuts and incentives thrown in for good measure. The only thing all parties agree on is they want the foreign vote and foreigners who are entitled to vote should use their right to do so.

The proposed property restrictions have not gone down well in the Balearics nor abroad with either business in general or potential house hunters. I know every vote counts at election time, but this debate could prove to be a very expensive one, even if the proposal never comes to pass.