The decree allows expansion within grounds but not the building of more rooms.

05-08-2020

A Balearic government decree, designed as an urgent measure for economic reactivation, continues to cause division among the parties which make up the government pact.

Although the decree was approved by the cabinet, it has still to be fully ratified. This is because of issues related to hotels. One of these issues concerns children and the age up to which they can stay in the same room as their parents. At present, this is 12. Més and Podemos don't want this to change, but PSOE are arguing for the age to be raised to 15. The opposition is based on a Més and Podemos suspicion that this would entail an indirect increase of the limit on the total number of hotel beds. Més and Podemos are willing to accept the proposal so long as it is for a set period - until the end of next year.

A greater point of discrepancy is the possible expansion of hotels. This refers to an increase of the built area within hotel grounds; it does not mean an increase in the number of rooms or floors. The three parties have now agreed to a ten per cent expansion, which was the situation before the decree. Having proposed 15%, PSOE now argue that this percentage could be authorised by the relevant authorities for tourism planning. These authorities are the island councils. However, in the case of Majorca, the transfer of tourism responsibilities from the government to the Council of Majorca does not include powers to authorise (or not) this type of expansion. The tourism ministry, controlled by PSOE, still has these powers. Podemos want the responsibility to be handed to the Council of Majorca.

As for the conversion of "obsolete" hotels into VPO residential accommodation, an amendment by Podemos has been accepted. This is for the VPO to "preferably" be rented accommodation. VPO is a system of social housing for which the government controls prices, be these for sale or rent.

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