King Felipe and Queen Letizia are due to attend the official opening of the Palacio de Congresos.

17-02-2017Efe/Sergio Barrenechea

Parliament's tourism committee has rejected a proposal by El Pi in respect of hotel modernisation. The party was looking for an extension to provisions of 2010 and 2012 for further renovation of hotels. The regulations contained in these provisions will cease to be in effect on 23 July. The El Pi member, Josep Melià, said that 60% of tourist establishments have invested in modernisation, leaving 40% which haven't: this equates to more than 135,000 hotel places in the Balearics.

Before the vote was taken which rejected this extension, Melià had harsh words for Podemos and the government. Podemos, he said, "doesn't know anything and doesn't know what we are talking about". As for the government parties, he observed that they were now opposing something that they had supported when in opposition.

Earlier this week, Inma Benito of the Majorca Hoteliers Federation had explained that an additional provision under the 2012 tourism law was being suspended by the government. This would lead, she argued, to the "virtual stoppage of investment for improvement". She added that meetings were being held with the government to process an additional provision as soon as possible. There were difficulties, she noted, because of an absence of "consensus on regulatory development". In suspending the provision which would allow an extension, she suggested that there will be a period of legal uncertainty in respect of what investments can be made.

The committee did agree with a Més proposal that the director of Palma airport, José Antonio Álvarez, should be called to appear before the committee and explain investments that Aena is planning. David Abril of Més wants to know how the 297 million euros will be spent, saying that the government has voiced its opposition to an expansion of the airport to allow more flights, greater frequencies and so more tourists. The airport, he noted, should be at the service of the majority of the citizens and not be a means of creating overcrowding.

Another proposal to the committee, this one by Montserrat Seijas (ex-Podemos, now the Mixed Group), urged the government to take appropriate measures to prevent any member of the Royal Family taking part in the official opening of Palma's Palacio de Congresos. It was rejected. Seijas was the only person in favour. A Més member abstained and Podemos, along with all other parties, were opposed.

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