Balearic Chief Minister Francesc Antich appears to be coming under increasing international pressure to sort the Balearic tourist industry out. During an informal meeting and wander around Palma with former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachov a few weeks ago, Antich was urged to reduce construction around the island's coastline and push ahead with the tourist tax and environmental protection. Yesterday, during a lunch with the German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, currently on holiday in Majorca, Shroeder had a similar message. The German Chancellor, who lunched with Antich in Valldemossa, told the Balearic Chief Minister that a better balance between young tourism, with holidaymakers after fun, and the more tranquil part of the market needs to be reached. Schroeder and Antich discussed the region's climate, countryside and food over lunch, but in between courses, Antich took the opportunity to explain to Schroeder what the proposed tourist tax entails. However, Schroeder made no comment on the tax, merely pointing out that the island's environment must be protected and natural resources improved. Antich spoke of the government's desire to raise extra funds for the management and protection of the environment and the local politician and German leader also touched on the slump in the German tourist industry in the Balearics this summer. Antich told Schroeder that the reason for the decline is the recuperation of other Mediterranean destinations, particularly in the east and, the improvement of others in North Africa. Schroeder, who arrived in Majorca on July 23 under tight security, said that the island is a beautiful place with places where there are so few people and so peaceful, it's hard to imagine. After the lunch, Antich said that his discussions with the Chancellor had been very cordial.
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