President Armengol speaking in parliament on Tuesday. | Miquel À. Cañellas

In parliament on Tuesday, President Armengol and finance minister Rosario Sánchez defended using tourist tax revenue to alleviate the crisis caused by coronavirus.

Facing criticism from Josep Castells of Més in Minorca, Armengol said that "in an extraordinary and exceptional time when economic resources are scarce and social needs will be very high, it is necessary to rethink some of the sustainable tourism tax projects".

The president added that the government will negotiate with institutions affected by a freezing of projects to be funded by the tourist tax and "keep the most significant investments". She stressed that the government does have the power to use funds from regional taxes to meet primary needs. These will be health, education, public housing and social services.

The finance minister said that "all spending items that we have in the budget must be reviewed in response to the economic crisis".

Antoni Costa of the opposition Partido Popular took issue with the government "sacrificing sustainable tourism tax projects" and giving priority to "public actions" as a consequence of the crisis but without specifying what criteria will be applied.

As has previously been reported, a reallocation of tourist tax revenue has caused particular upset in Minorca. The indications are that the government will use this year's tax revenue for more general-purpose spending as well as, quite probably, revenue from previous years where projects have yet to be initiated.