Palma.—The Association of Tourist Businesses added its voice yesterday to the concerns of hoteliers and builders that there will be no Central or regional government investment in the Playa de Palma reform project within the next three years, meaning that any hope of redevelopment lies in the hands of the private sector.

The President of the Playa de Palma Hoteliers' Association Francisco Marín confirmed “it is now the private sector which has been left to do the work which had previously been envisaged by government.” “We've been taken by surprise,” he claimed “and the overall Playa de Palma reform programme has now taken on a different perspective.” Although Marín said that he understood that the present Partido Popular government in the Balearics wants to free up the project from the shackles of bureaucracy, the previous Socialist government - specifically the Playa de Palma reform project director, Margarita Najera - had spent huge sums of money on commissioning pre-project assessment studies and reports.

With a new reform plan in the offing, all the work which was previously undertaken by architects West8 has been put to one side in favour of other teams of specialists.

Manuel Gomez, President of the Balearic Builders' Association, confimed that regional President José Ramón Bauzà had left it crystal clear that he didn't have a single cent of public money to spend on the Playa de Palma redevelopment programme in at least the next two years.

Gomez said that even for the private sector, there have been no projects emerging from the official College of Architects to go out to public tender. “We don't hold out much hope for business in the future,” he said.

Tourist Business Association President Jesús Sanchez said both Central and regional governments only saw public investment in the Playa de Palma as a cost item. “Spending needs to be viewed as a means of kick starting the economy and providing jobs for people,” he said. “The Balearic government wants to speed up bureaucracy to attract private investment but freezing the spend on the Playa de Palma is not going to help the reform programme.”

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