Balearic leader Francesc Antich admitted yesterday that efforts to reach agreement with hoteliers over the tourist tax had failed. Parliament is expected to approve the controversial tax on Tuesday. Antich said that he and other representatives of the government had held several meetings with Pedro Cañellas, president of the Hotel Federation, and other hoteliers, but nothing had been achieved. Antich spoke out against what he called “speculations” by the opposition PP (Popular Party) and some hoteliers, which he claimed had added tension to the atmosphere surrounding the tax. He said that the situation was as follows: “On Friday, I contacted the president of the Hotel Federation to have a meeting on Saturday (yesterday) to see if we could advance matters regarding the tax, and after discussion, we agreed to wait until the tourist tax was approved (on Tuesday) before meeting again.” Some hoteliers have criticised Antich, claiming that they have been deceived over the tourist tax. But Antich defended himself yesterday saying “all these stories - which come from the Popular Party and some hoteliers because I do not believe that the president of the Hotel Federation would say such things - are, I think, a desire to increase tension between the Balearic government and the sector.”

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