By Lois Jones JAUME Matas, President of the Balearics, said yesterday that German tourism has a large part to play in the Islands and that he would be delighted if Germany's Chancellor Schröeder chose the Balearics as a holiday destination. The Playa de Palma hotel federation has invited the Chancellor to Majorca because of the spat raging between Italy and Germany over apparently insulting remarks made about the Germans by an Italian politician. Schröeder and his family have holidayed in Italy for the past few summers, but he has decided to cancel this year's trip and the German media are caling on millions of fellow German holidaymakers to follow suit and boycott Italy. Schröeder and his wife have visited Majorca before, although it was an official and short visit which was marred by an incident with the local media. It would be a gesture that “would help re-establish a favourable image of the Balearics that has unfortunately gone into decline”, said Jaume Matas. Matas also furthered the point that “German people are tourists with a great deal of purchasing power, very demanding of environmental quality; in short, a worthwhile client. But tourists of any nationality are welcome here and should feel well treated” he added. To get tourists to come to the Islands again is a focal point for the newly elected government in the Balearics. With this in mind, Matas lamented that within three years “we have lost the revenue of two million tourists, above all in mid and low season resulting in many hotels opening later in the year. We are currently left with a shortened tourist season which means workers' jobs and their incomes are threatened.” President Matas noted that the biggest change he had observed since leaving his former presidential position when the Socialists came to power in the Balearics, has been “the deterioration of the tourist industry, resulting in significant job losses and serious concern amongst the Islands' inhabitants”. Matas sees the tourist industry as a key factor in wealth creation which “has always been a driving force in Spain's economy”. For Matas, the repeal of the Eco-tax, otherwise known as the unpopular “Tourist tax”, will send out positive signals to tourist markets in terms of making visitors feel really welcome in the Balearics once more. With regard to the proposed measure of raising funds from local hoteliers for purposes of environmental protection, Matas talked positively about the initiative: “it guarantees investment in the environment and creates a fund specifically for that business group, backed by the European Union, central government and private business.”