The Balearic parliament yesterday ratified the decree that was issued by the government to overcome the "inconsistency" that was caused by the vote on the holiday rentals legislation in July. This "inconsistency" arose because Podemos refused to agree to a specific article. The consequence of this was that, in effect, apartment rentals were neither legal nor illegal. Podemos had also been insisting on provision for declarations of emergency housing. These would mean a ban on holiday apartment rentals.
With the approval, said tourism minister Biel Barceló, the law will return to be as it was when the government presented it. It will also be "effective", pointing out that the the main websites, such as Airbnb, have already advised users about the new regulations and asked them to remove any illegal properties. He added that the number of holiday rental properties advertised on websites has begun to fall, while those for residential rental has increased. He concluded that, under conditions established in law and subject to zoning eligibility being decided by the island councils, holiday rentals in apartment buildings "will be possible".
For the government parties, PSOE and Més, there was agreement that the July vote had caused an "inconsistency". Bel Oliver of PSOE said that the housing problem has been a concern of the government from day one and she drew attention to measures adopted by the land ministry to deal with it. Aitor Morràs of Podemos attacked the effects of tourist "massification" on the labour market and the environment as well on the right to housing.
Miquel Jerez for the opposition Partido Popular criticised the demands and "absurdities" of Podemos, adding that "Podemos has the government on the ropes" until the end of the current administration. He accused the government of not having a clear tourism model for the Balearics and of it legislating "like a headless chicken". Saying that Barceló's continuation as minister was "delegitimised", he called on the minister to resign. Barceló replied that he would not be giving up.
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