By Humphrey Carter

THE controversial tourist tax introduced by the left-wing coalition government led by PSOE Socialist Francesc Antich proved to be their downfall at the 2003 elections but the Balearic tourist sector said yesterday that it does not fear a coalition government involving Antich and the political left.

While the political outlook for the Balearic Islands may appear uncertain this morning, the Majorcan Hotel Federation, hotel chains, the Association of Balearic Travel Agents and the Confederation of Balearic Business Associations (CAEB), have all stated that they are not worried by talk of a return of the progressive pact to power.

Despite the fact there are still a number of political variables, Josep Oliver, the president of CAEB, said “whatever the outcome, we want the politicians to be responsible.

STABILITY “The business world needs stability, one doesn't play with the economy.” Pere Cañellas, the long-serving president of the Majorcan Hotel Federation, admitted that a return of the progress pact is possible “but I don't think it's going to affect tourism.”

The president of the Association of Balearic Travel Agents, Mateo Pou was more vocal. “I'm not a fan of political coalitions, I believe one party with one manifesto should govern, but, if a progress pact is formed again I think they will be well aware of the mistakes they made four years ago, especially those relating to tourism, and will have learnt their lesson.” Balearic trade, industry and retail sources in general echoed similar sentiments yesterday, that the same mistakes will not be made again.


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