Party representatives with Antoni Serra, president of Habtur (third right).

30-04-2019Pilar Pellicer

Representatives of political parties were invited to take part in a debate on holiday rentals on Tuesday evening by the Habtur rentals association. PSOE, the Partido Popular, Més, El Pi and Ciudadanos took part. Unidas Podemos and Vox declined the invitation.

Andreu Alcover of PSOE defended holiday rental policies adopted over the past four years. The "boom" in rentals had required regulations, among them the creation of limits to the number of accommodation places. He noted that these limits can always be subject to revision.

Antoni Costa for the PP said that the party would look to increase the number of accommodation places while cutting the cost for registering new ones (up to 3,500 euros per place in the case of villas). He defended the policy of the former PP government, which had permitted holiday rental apartments in the framework of the tenancy act.

Més sent Pere Fuster, and he was the target for most of the criticisms from an audience that comprised many members of Habtur. He restated a commitment to reduce the number of accommodation places, both hotel and holiday rental, but accepted that holiday rentals redistribute wealth better than hotels.

Greatest applause was reserved for Josep Melià of El Pi, who criticised the policies of the current government and the PP when it had been in power. He expressed opposition to there being a decrease in the number of accommodation places, advocated a cut in the price for new ones and said rentals should be permitted on protected rustic land.

For Ciudadanos, Marc Pérez-Ribas called for liberal policies which benefit families and for only minor restrictions to tourism activity.