On Wednesday, the European Competition Commissioner, Margrethe Vestager, let it be known that the European Commission has not received any request from the Spanish government for a regime of aid specific to the tourism industry. By contrast, there have been requests from various other EU member states, such as France, and the European Commission has given the green light for aid plans for tourism and transport companies.
Vestager was responding to a question from José Ramón Bauzá, a former president of the Balearics and now an MEP. This read: "Is the European Commission aware, of date, of any specific request for aid to the tourism industry by the government of Spain in order to lessen the consequences of the coronavirus crisis?" "No," came the reply. Spain has not presented any tourism aid plan to Brussels.
The news that the government hasn't made a request has caused indignation. The president of the Confederation of Balearic Business Associations, Carmen Planas, has expressed her "amazement" at the fact that Madrid has not forwarded requests from the Balearic and Spanish tourism sectors "to alleviate the situation caused by the pandemic crisis". Her counterpart at the Pimem federation for small to medium-sized businesses, Jordi Mora, says that he cannot understand the strategy adopted by Madrid. "We hope that Spain will not be left out of this aid."
The secretary of state for tourism, Fernando Valdés, said in Minorca on Thursday that the fact that projects have not been presented to Brussels "does not indicate that the government isn't taking the tourism industry into account". The industry has been supported "since the start of the pandemic". "The government has dedicated more than 25,000 million euros to the tourism industry with the approval of the European Union."