Moment of truth
The call was made to Delgado at a meeting held between the Minister and the Associations at regional government offices in Palma yesterday. Because funding from Central Government for the Playa de Palma reform project has still not appeared on the horizon, some residents and businesses have taken it upon themselves to spruce up the resort and undertake reforms themselves. But since the hard work is not being done with public money as planned, those who have embarked on reform work believe that they should be entitled to some tax relief for the independent effort they have made.
Under pressure, Delgado gave reassurances that the Playa de Palma reform project, one of five star tourist resort overhaul programmes envisaged by Central Government, would go ahead but it was not clear how much public money could be expected from Madrid. According to Playa de Palma Business and Residents' Association President Enrique Salvà, Delgado had qualified his statement by saying that in the face of an ongoing crisis, the project now needed to be realistic and that any previous wildly ambitious plans had to be done away with.
Residents' Association President Soledad Sarabia said that although it was clear that there was a national cash flow problem at the moment and that individual businesses and residents were filling in by proceeding with privately funded reform work, in no way should either regional or national government assume that such action was going to set a precedent for the reform project as a whole.
Meanwhile, said Sarabia, government should consider allowing tax relief for those who have had to dig deep into their own pockets to fund reform.
Another issue which is worrying the associations is that any development which is undertaken by the government-run Playa de Palma reform project in the future needs to take into account the combined needs of hoteliers, businesses and residents. The Tourism Ministry, said Salvà must not just look at the money it can make out of mass tourism in the resort.