Podemos explaining their stance on the holiday rentals' legislation yesterday. | Podemos


The mayors of Palma and Ibiza Town, Antoni Noguera and Rafel Ruiz, have sent letters to political parties in the Balearic parliament which ask them to reach urgent agreement on the holiday rentals' legislation.

They express their concern with the law and with the rentals' phenomenon that is having negative effects on access to housing in both Palma and Ibiza. They accept that the legislation represents a step forward but say that the last-minute problems which arose because of Podemos disagreeing with the government have left the legislation lame and difficult to apply.

Noguera and Ruiz are from different parties, respectively Més and PSOE, but they have come together in appealing to the "sanity and responsibility" of groups in parliament. Party differences should be set aside in finding a solution. "It would be good for the general interest that when amending the law, you focus on the regulation of two key issues for the Balearics and the islands' municipalities: access to housing and a ceiling on the number of tourist places."

Both believe that the future of tourism has to be considered in terms of sustainability in the medium and long terms. The law should be adapted to the needs of each municipality. Palma and Ibiza have problems caused by excessive holiday rental, while some municipalities can benefit from holiday rentals as they diversify their local economies.

"We want to be successful cities and not die of success. Therefore, we reiterate our demand for an urgent agreement between the political forces."

As far as limits to the number of tourist places are concerned, the tourism minister Biel Barceló has argued that the legislation does create a ceiling. The Council of Majorca, as reported yesterday, is already drafting the plan for limits in parts of the island, though its decision for there to be no more additional tourist places currently applies to Playa de Palma rather than to the whole city.

As expected, the government is preparing a decree to get it out of the legislative mess caused by Podemos. Barceló explains that his ministry and the housing ministry are working on the necessary drafting. It is anticipated that the government will pass this decree next month. It would then go before parliament in September, at which point Podemos would vote for something they had rejected. This assumes that they will vote for it. Podemos are still insisting that the "emergency housing" declaration for Palma and Ibiza is included in the legislation, meaning a total ban on holiday rentals in apartment buildings

The decree will establish that apartments can be subject to authorisation as commercialised holiday rentals and, importantly for the government, mean that unauthorised apartments are clearly liable for the levying of heavy fines.