The tourism ministry has so far granted 122 new holiday rentals licences, which equate some 600 places. Applications for these could be made from 1 August, the previous moratorium on new licences having been lifted.

The procedure for obtaining a licence begins at local town halls, which establish that properties conform, for instance, to zoning requirements. At the ministry, documentation to be presented includes the DRIAT declaration for initiating a tourism activity.

The minister, Bel Busquets, says that 391 DRIATs have been presented since August, but 269 of these have been lacking. They have not included essential information, have not got the consent from residents' communities or have used an outdated DRIAT form.

At the parliamentary tourism committee meeting yesterday, Busquets was asked about progress with the granting of licences by Josep Melià of El Pi, a party which has made clear its general support for holiday rentals. Given Busquets' response, El Pi believe that regulation and requirements are not in line with "reality" and that they mean that people are unable to register.

The minister disputes this, arguing that the law is very clear and that zoning is in order to strike a balance between holiday rentals and the need to guarantee the right to housing. The government, she adds, is not giving a "free pass" to holiday rentals. "Our commitment is to sustainable islands with a quality economy and quality tourism."

Busquets was also asked about the charges for registering new holiday rentals places. She explained that the rates were not determined by the tourism ministry but by the consortium for the stock of accommodation places (of which she is in fact the president). They had been arrived at through "participation and dialogue" with the Council of Majorca and other bodies. Prices had been agreed "by the whole sector".

For standalone properties and hotels, the price is 3,500 euros per place. This is based on the fact, the minister said, that there is an average life of twenty years. For other types of properties - apartments or those which can only be rented out for a maximum of sixty days a year (which can include villas, depending on zones) - there is a five-year limit. The charges are therefore lower - 875 euros for apartments and 291 euros for 60-day properties.