Palma.—The nautical industry yesterday called on the Balearic Ministry for Tourism for a bigger role in decision making by the government when it comes to matters which affect their sector.

Already locked in battle with the Spanish and local authorities over the controversial matriculation tax, which has cost the Balearic charter industry millions of euros in lost business, the industry is also concerned about the way in which the government is making decisions which affect the sector without any consultation.

Yesterday, the nautical industry stressed upon the Minister for Tourism that the tax treatment applied to the nautical sector, in exception of small boats up to eight metres in length, bears a double taxation in comparison to the regulation of the European Union and is significantly higher than that of other European countries. The enforcement to pay a matriculation tax on yachts, which adds up to 12%, makes it very difficult for our ports to be used as a destination by this type of tourism, along with the economic and business losses that this issue represents.

It is estimated that the volume of activity of commercial yachts would generate up to approximately 5'200'000 euros per week, of which 70% would correspond to the Balearics. These figures do not include the expenses paid to ports.

The Balearics is also considered one of the best refit and repair destinations in the Mediterranean and again, the nautical industry would like some government aid because of the income in generates and employment it creates.