The debate over the tourist tax returns to the Balearic parliament tomorrow, and Podemos is not ruling out voting with the Partido Popular and Ciudadanos (C's) against it, something which, for Podemos, would be the worst possible scenario and one that it wants to avoid. It is hoping that the government will, therefore, accept most of its amendments and therefore enable an agreement to be arrived at.
Podemos leader, Alberto Jarabo, said today that the party was not planning on voting in favour of amendment of the whole sustainable tourism tax bill, which is one of the parliamentary devices that the PP and the C's will be adopting. He added that negotiations with PSOE and Més were being conducted today over partial amendments to the bill.
The party wants to arrive at the most consensual agreement possible over the tax, but the government is finding it hard to accept each amendment. Podemos wants, among other things, to ensure that there is a territorial balance to the distribution of tax revenue, something which has led to calculations by which Majorca would end up being discriminated against. Podemos has also been insisting that the tax be an "eco-tax" in that the revenue is used solely for environmental purposes (the draft law has other purposes in addition to the environment). It also wants the 50% reduction in the off-season to be dropped, meaning that the rate of the tax would be the same all-year round.
The PP, meanwhile, is agitating for a vote in favour of amending the whole bill, which would, in effect, send it back to the drawing-board. The PP does not want a repeat of the "mistakes" made with the eco-tax that was introduced on 1 May, 2002 and scrapped eighteen months later, following a PP victory in the 2003 regional election. The party has borrowed the words of Podemos's Laura Camargo, who spoke last week about a fraud being committed with the tax if it were not only for environmental purposes. One of its parliamentary deputies, Alvaro Gijón, agrees that it would be a fraud, but for different reasons.
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