Biel Barceló: standing firm and not resigning. | Miquel À. Cañellas


Less than 24 hours after the resignation of the director-general for tourism, Pilar Carbonell, Biel Barceló called a press conference to make it clear that he has no intention of stepping down as tourism minister and vice-president and that he has the full support of the Balearic president, Francina Armengol.

Armengol has been conspicuous by her absence this week - she is apparently unwell - but Barceló said that he has always "had the maximum political and personal support" of the president.

"The president has constantly backed me in all the decisions I have had to make, especially over the past two weeks with regards to Carbonell and Muñoz (the latter implicated in an investigation into allegedly awarding favourable contracts)," the minister said.

Barceló explained that the National Police are particularly interested in documentation relating to the MegaPark club Cursach owns in Playa de Palma and officers confiscated all the relevant documents that could be found.

"We are cooperating with the police 100 per cent," he stressed.

Barceló also revealed that the investigation is apparently looking into the upgrading of Cursach’s BH Hotel in Magalluf from three to four stars and a number of other of the businessman’s activities. He added that with regard to his position in government, the opposition Partido Popular are fanning the flames by demanding that he resigns.

Podemos, not part of the government but its supporters, have also called for Barceló to step down. The minister said that he is saddened by the fact that Podemos are helping the PP but pointed out that, at the end of the day, Podemos have little option but to support the government in keeping the PP out of power. He also repeated that he is convinced that Carbonell is not guilty of any wrongdoing.