Palma, where property prices are said to be fuelled by speculation. | Archive

Palma's federation of residents associations totally rejects tourist rental in apartment buildings in the centre of the city and elsewhere. Joan Forteza, its president, says that the possibility of this, as contained in the draft for the holiday rentals' legislation, "has caused genuine alarm among residents". If this were to finally be approved without amendment, it would result in "a radical change to our city model".

Forteza argues that higher prices, both to buy and to rent, would make it "almost impossible" to find housing. This would lead to "a serious social crisis, in which our young people will come off worst". He stresses: "In no way do we want our city to become a second Ibiza."

He believes that the legislation will encourage speculation. Investors are already, he notes, doing up whole buildings that will be dedicated to holiday rental. It is very profitable business, he says, regardless of what charges the tourism ministry might have in mind. He accuses tourism minister Biel Barceló of being more interested in economic returns than in the welfare of the city's residents.

Forteza is also angry about the lack of dialogue prior to the drafting of the legislation. "The federation is totally incensed and disappointed by the government's lack of political sensitivity and by having completely ignored the residents. The ministry has not made it possible for us to contribute to any of the controversial articles contained in the draft, despite the fact that residents will be among those most seriously affected."