The meeting of government, business and unions on Thursday. | Teresa Ayuga

Balearics hoteliers have asked the government for a temporary suspension of the tourist tax.

This possibility was raised at Thursday's meeting between the government and representatives from business and the unions. It received support from other business associations, the hoteliers making the point that this would be a measure that the Balearic government could adopt without reference to Madrid. Other measures being sought, such as extending reductions of social security contributions for employees with 'fijo discontinuo' contracts, are a matter for the Spanish government.

The national confederation of hotelier associations called for this latter measure to be adopted on Tuesday. It has also called for governments - national and regional - to introduce measures to assist with liquidity in the face of cancellations over the coming weeks.

The hoteliers believe that there should be immediate action so that recovery, once the Covid-19 alert has passed, can be as speedy as possible.

In Catalonia, the regional government announced on Thursday that it will be making available up to 1,000 million euros in lines of credit for businesses affected by coronavirus. The tourist tax in Catalonia - it is the only region other than the Balearics to have a tourist tax - will not be suspended, but the government has said that settlement for March won't be required until September.