Members of Podemos in the Balearic parliament could not conceal their delight on Thursday when a Podemos amendment to the 2019 budget was passed, apparently by mistake.
The amendment was for the transfer of 2.7 million euros from the budget for the Aetib tourism strategy agency to social housing purposes. Podemos have argued that there should either be no budget for tourism promotion or a reduced one, and this - in effect - was what the amendment was aimed at. It was opposed by PSOE and Més.
However, when it came to the vote there was a surprise. The Partido Popular backed the amendment and therefore allowed it to be passed. The PP's spokesperson, Marga Prohens, said afterwards that this had been a mistake, but blamed this on the tourism minister, Bel Busquets. This was because of the confusion surrounding her budget and her "inability to control amendments".
Later on, it was being said that it had not been a PP error. There had in fact been a premeditated decision to back the Podemos amendment. The reasoning was to introduce instability to the government pact of PSOE, Més and Podemos.
Busquets reacted with indignation. Podemos had failed to meet agreements and had forced through an amendment courtesy of a "pincer" by the PP. Podemos, she stated, "will have to give explanations" and described the vote as "enormously irresponsible". Dozens of jobs and "essential tasks" will be put at risk, and there will need to be work in order to restore the "flaw".
The Majorca Hoteliers Federation attacked the irresponsibility of Podemos and the PP. The federation pointed out that it will mean that Aetib's promotional capability is cut from 6.62 million euros to 3.92 million.
It should be noted that there was already significant provision for social housing in the 2019 budget. Tourist tax revenue of 26.2 million euros has been allocated to this, and there has also been an increase in the budget for the government's housing agency Ibavi.