On the eve of a poor Easter for the Balearic tourist industry, with Palma airport officials yesterday confirming that passenger figures over the holiday week are down 8.4 per cent in comparison to last year, the Balearic government sought to ease the “tension” over the tourist tax. President of the Balearic government, Francesc Antich, yesterday stressed the need for the government and the hotel sector to calm down over the tourist tax. Replying to Wednesday's onslaught from the hotel sector which accused Antic of failing to have lived up to his promise to call hoteliers in for official talks over the tax, Antich said that he is still open for business. But, time is running out and Antich repeated his intention to see the tourist tax preliminarily approved in the local parliament, on Tuesday. However he claims he is still prepared to negotiate.

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