Maria Frontera stated the hoteliers' opposition to the decree last Friday. | Miquel À. Cañellas

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Tourism minister Iago Negueruela believes that "internal pressures" were behind last Friday's rejection of the Balearic government's tourism decree by the Mallorca Hoteliers Federation.

Speaking about the hoteliers' opposition on Monday, Negueruela didn't specify what these pressures were, but said that it was difficult to explain why there had been a change of view in the space of just one week. "One week you agree and the next, you don't."

The president of the federation, Maria Frontera, was accompanied by representatives of hotelier associations across Mallorca when she criticised the decree - it was "ideological and electoral". The hoteliers, Frontera said, felt that they had been used by the government.

Negueruela observed that there had been consensus on most of the law, the hoteliers having said that they were unaware of the clauses regarding the blocking of new accommodation places. The minister insisted that this is a freeze on almost 20,000 new places and not an elimination. The decree mechanism was adopted in order to prevent a rush of applications for new places, as island councils are to be given time to decide what they do with the available places.

In this regard, Negueruela noted that there were applications for 485 places in Ibiza on the day that the decree was announced and prior to its text being published in the Official Bulletin. In Mallorca, there were 61 applications.

The decree became law once the text was published, but it does require validation by parliament. Meanwhile, it is on the agenda for questions in parliament on Tuesday, opposition parties all having expressed their criticisms of the decree. The Partido Popular have said that they will repeal it if they are returned to government next year.