The problem with accommodation is particularly acute in Ibiza. | Archive

It is now a familiar enough tale. Inma Benito of the Majorca Hoteliers Federation is just one to have highlighted the impact of holiday rentals on regular housing. She referred the other day to doctors and police not coming to the Balearics because they can't find anywhere to stay.

The problem with accommodation in Majorca was more evident than ever last year. Pollensa, for example, was one town hall to express its concern. Hoteliers, which have partially contributed to the problem by not providing in-hotel accommodation for staff any longer, were having to arrange transport for employees living quite some distance away. They will be doing so again this summer. The police union has spoken to the national government's delegate about the fact that National Police officers don't want transfers to Majorca because of the lack and cost of rented accommodation.

Ibiza, in particular, has a very serious problem. In addition to doctors and police, hotel maids, security guards, trainee journalists are just some others who are confronted by the accommodation crisis.

For the police, there is a daily allowance of between sixty and seventy euros. The general secretary of the SUP police union, Manu Pavón, says that in July and August it is impossible to get a hotel room at that sort of price. Many officers are asking for the union's help in finding somewhere to rent. "We are going crazy looking for places. In the end, they are forced into sharing a place between three or four, if they can find it."

The Guardia Civil are also affected - there are transfers to the islands from both forces in the summer - and the situation now means that Ibiza town hall is offering some accommodation, while the Council of Ibiza is urging the use of apartments at the military residence normally reserved for vacation use. Pavón states once more that officers are no longer volunteering to come to the Balearics.

For trainee journalists who have internships with media companies, they are giving up these opportunities because of the accommodation problem. Seasonal workers in hotels, according to Juanjo Riera of the Ibiza and Formentera Hoteliers Federation, are now deciding against coming. They don't get paid as well on the mainland but with rents as they are in the Balearics, they are better off not coming. The Palladium Hotel Group says that it isn't recruiting from outside the island. "We know they will come and not find somewhere to live," explains Ana Montero, the deputy director of human resources.

And Minorca isn't escaping the problem. Pau Puig of the Hotel Artiem Carlos III in Es Castell suggests that it is a new phenomenon for the island. "We're encountering something that hasn't happened before. Many workers who want to come to Minorca cannot find anywhere." Pablo Sánchez, a seasonal worker in Minorca for the past six years, says that this year he will have to settle for a room. "Usually I've been able to find a house. This time I'm waiting to see two rooms. I can't get anything else. Meanwhile I'm in a hostel."