The political parties had their chance to criticise government leader Francesc Antich during this week's State of the Balearics debate. Now the Majorcan Tourist Board (Fomento del Turismo) has written an open letter to Antich, expressing its concern at what it describes as a “lack of definition” in its tourism policy, when decisions should be taken for the 2002 season. The first point in the letter, written as a reply to the debate, says that the Board has heard nothing more of legislative initiatives which Antich had proposed to prevent future crises, such as those caused by the transport strike which paralysed the airport. It calls on the government to take steps to see that such a strike won't be repeated, and if the government does not, “we will ask the parties which do not belong to the coalition to do so.” In its second point, it asks Antich to postpone the introduction of the tourist tax, even if the Constitutional Court lifts its suspension. The Board claims the tax is unfair and inefficient, although it will accept it if and when it is approved. But, the letter goes on to say, the competitiveness of the Balearics as a tourist resort in the short term is at stake, as nobody can predict what demand will be. What is currently happening in the Canaries is not a good omen,” it says. The letter, signed by Miquel Vicens, reminds Antich that he and five of his ministers recently had talks with representatives of the sector in which they agreed that the euphoria of some politicians and media was “rash, immoral and frivolous.” It was “rash, because nobody can guarantee that tourists will be rerouted to the Balearics; immoral because we should not base the attraction of our islands on the undeserved suffering of competing countries because of vandalism for which they are not to blame, and frivolous because any sign of over-confidence could attract the attention of anyone who is unbalanced, of whom there are many today.”


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