Bel Busquets, insisting on Més representation in government.

02-06-2019Teresa Ayuga

Bel Busquets, the acting vice-president and tourism minister, said yesterday that her party, Més, will not offer a "blank cheque" to PSOE in forming a pact for government.

For there to be a pact of "progress", Més are "essential", she stated. "We are going to form a government with which Més are comfortable and have representation."

At last Sunday's election, Més - between their Majorca and Minorca factions - lost three seats in the Balearic parliament, while PSOE made gains. The balance of power shifted to Francina Armengol's party as a result.

Armengol had not wanted Busquets as tourism minister following the resignation of Biel Barceló. PSOE would have preferred to have taken control of the tourism ministry. It is being suggested that the new administration will feature a ministry that combines the employment, trade and industry portfolio, which was held by PSOE's Iago Negueruela, with tourism.

Negueruela, who was number two on the PSOE list of candidates for parliament, is seen as the new vice-president with responsibility for this combined ministry. This would appear to be PSOE's wish at any rate.

There were tensions between PSOE and Més over tourism, in particular once Busquets became minister. The tourist tax was a cause of these. While PSOE are most unlikely to wish to alter the tax, e.g. by reducing the rates, they are said to be unhappy with how the tax has been managed until now. They want to redefine how tax revenue is spent, eliminate some of the "purposes" and make the decision-making process more open.

All-inclusive legislation was another bone of contention. While PSOE were committed to there being legislation and remain committed, they were concerned by the opposition that was raised to certain aspects of this legislation, notably a ban on all-day free alcohol. The proposal was for alcohol to be available only at meal times. It was felt that there was too little consultation, with Abta having been particularly vocal in criticising this proposal.

In more general terms, it was also felt that not enough was being done to address so-called booze tourism. The all-inclusive proposal was an aspect of this, but opponents such as Abta have insisted that drink in all-inclusive hotels is not a significant contributor to the problems associated with booze tourism.

However the pact is arranged, Busquets will not be a member of the government. She stood for the presidency of the Council of Majorca. PSOE want their candidate, Catalina Cladera, to be president.