Iago Negueruela and social affairs minister, Fina Santiago, in parliament. | Jaume Morey


In parliament on Tuesday, the Balearic minister for the economic model, tourism and employment, Iago Negueruela, explained that government sponsorship of the Los 40 Music Awards, staged in Palma on November 12, had been agreed in May. This was together with some 60 other events, the objective having been to maintain tourism and business activity up to and including November. The awards ceremony was attended by British superstar Ed Sheeran.

The minister was responding to questions from Sergio Rodríguez, who wanted to know why revenue from the sustainable tourism tax (tourist tax) had been used to sponsor the awards. In his view, this had been agreed among the parties of the government pact, as it is the socialists (PSOE), "who are in charge of this government and are the ones who handle the money".

Rodríguez wondered why the tax is called the sustainable tourism tax. "I guess this is because calling it a tax for parties and soirées wouldn't sound good."

Negueruela said that, because of the huge fall in gross domestic product and many uncertainties, sponsorship of major sporting and cultural events that began in June was with the aim of keeping these events going until November. He also stated: "I regret the confusion regarding this because they are Covid funds and not sustainable tourism tax funds. There may be sustainable tourism tax funds, but not strictly."

The sponsorships made it possible to get to November "with the islands permanently open to Spain and the world".

He added that co-marketing campaigns with the private sector have been "more aggressive" in previous years because of the pandemic and the need to maintain business activity and employment. "All kinds of events" have been sponsored, such as the Mallorca Cycling Challenge and the Mallorca Golf Open.