The Spanish minister for yourism, José Manuel Soria and the president of the Balearics, Francina Armengol, “having words” at the WTM.

President Armengol, who was able to have some words with national tourism minister José Manuel Soria at the World Travel Market, has criticised him for “not valuing the Balearics as a leading international tourist destination” and for having shut the door on an extension to the period for negotiating state investments for Playa de Palma.

“It seems to me that Soria has little sensitivity towards the situation in the Balearics, and this concerns me,” Armengol told the media after snatching a “few minutes” with the tourism minister.

The president added that Mariano Rajoy had promised her that there would be an extension to consider justification of investments that had not been received for four or more years. She therefore stressed that Soria appeared to her to be “very aloof” and to undervalue a region (the Balearics) which contributes the second highest number of tourists to Spain and also to lack appreciation for investments that the people of the Balearics merit.

With this in mind, she also said that Cristóbal Montoro, the national finance minister, “must now form the bilateral financing commission” at which there will be discussions related to funding resources that should be extended, above all the money for Playa de Palma.

“It seems logical to make a case for funding resources that have been delivered and have been made in the form of investment, but I am not to blame for the fact that over the four years of the government of José Ramón Bauzá resources for Playa de Palma were not invested.”

Armengol is not the only one to be voicing discontent at the decision to withhold 63 million euros of investment for Playa de Palma. The president of its hoteliers’ association, Francisco Marín, has described it as an “outrage,” and considers it to be a decision based on “political colour.” “In the end, the main loser is the tourist area, for which money is needed in order to transform it. For this, it’s necessary that there is political agreement.”