The ex-president of Panama, Ernesto Pérez Valladares, yesterday gave his backing to the Balearic tourist tax during talks with Balearic President Francesc Antich in Palma. Ernesto Pérez Valladares, who was president between 1994 and 1999 said “it is important that money is raised for the environment in order to maintain the islands' beauty.” As far as the former Panamanian president is concerned, charging a tourist tax is “normal,” considering the number of countries around the world which have imposed such a levy. He said that the argument over the tourist tax is quite simply “because nobody likes paying taxes.” Valladares and Antich yesterday discussed the various problems which are facing both countries' tourist industry with Panama keen to see what the Balearics has done in order to expand its own industry.