Staff reporter

JOAN Flaquer, the Balearic Minister for Tourism and government spokesman, declared yesterday “that funding of environmental projects will be continued and that proposals already approved will go ahead”. The Minister was making reference to the eco-tax, commonly known as the “Tourist tax” which purports to fund environmental investment. He declared that “we will have the opportunity to revise the philosophy behind those projects by means of a study, yet to be undertaken. It's important to see whether the original intentions for environmental protection coincide with the end result.” He pointed out that previous Balearic governments led by the Partido Popular invested in projects to protect the envirnoment without raising a separate tax. “We will create”, he said, ”a means of financing that is supported by grants from local, central and European governments. We will also examine means by which the private sector can also contribute”. The recently appointed Tourist Minister for the Islands insisted that relationships between the government and the tourist sector must be based on “good communication and consensus”. “The hoteliers in the Balearics” he affirmed, “are world-class pioneers and the culture of tourist business is very well consolidated. Government action depends on their sound advice.” Joan Flaquer said that we will “totally respect” rulings on land use in the Islands, a decision which he acknowledged falls within the domain of the Council of Menorca. “As Balearic government spokesman, however, I can comment that facilities on the island for out-of-season golfing holidays are very attractive, particularly as it is a market of “quality” tourism. Any plans that were to be drawn up for golf courses, would of course, have to be considered in the context of rulings for land usage made by the Island Council. In Majorca however, the Island Council, in the run up to the local elections, said that more golf courses and marina facilities need to be built to attract and cater for the quality end of the holiday market. An announcement welcomed by the nautical sector and in particular the golfing community which is facing growing competition from the mainland.