BALEARIC President Francesc Antich yesterday denied allegations made in the regional Parliament that his Minister for Employment and Tourism, Joana Barcelo was secretly renegotiationg the Playa de Palma reform programme without the knowledge of the Development Board Managing Director, Margarita Najera.
Antich said that there was no behind the scenes pact with Playa de Palma hoteliers to redraw the main outline of the integral overhaul, originally scheduled to be a star project of both regional and Central Governments. Its progress, however, ground to a halt on 15th November so as to allow time -the government claimed - for residents, businesses and local authorities to reach consensus on the reform programme which had received a deluge of official complaints.
However, local press confirmed yesterday that Minister Barcelo had indeed held meetings with the President of the Majorcan Hotel Federation, Marilen Pol and with the President of the Playa de Palma Hoteliers Association, Francisco Marin, amongst others. Najera, claimed the press, was apparently not present at any of these meetings.
Antich insisted in reply to Parliamentary questions on the subject that Margarita Najera was fully aware of the contact that Minister Barcelo has had with the hoteliers and that he had had a meeting with both women last Monday to address issues related to the Playa de Palma reform project.