Maria Frontera of the Mallorca Hoteliers Federation and Iago Negueruela on Thursday. | Jaume Morey

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Hoteliers in Minorca say that they cannot understand the reasons why their counterparts in Mallorca have now given their firm support to the new tourism law. They are not the only ones. Hoteliers in Ibiza and Formentera are also surprised, as is the Pimem federation for small to medium-sized business associations.

On Friday last week, the Mallorca Hoteliers Federation issued a firm rejection of the decree law and demanded a government "rectification" in respect of the four-year moratorium on new tourist accommodation places. On Thursday, however, there was an apparent show of unity. Tourism minister Iago Negueruela insisted that there was agreement between the government and the Mallorcan hoteliers, while the federation said that it would support the decree's parliamentary processing. This was without there having been any rectification; or seemingly not.

Lluís Casals, the president of the ASHOME Minorca Hoteliers Association, says: "We were surprised because they (the Mallorca federation) were very critical and then a week later it was as if nothing had happened."

Casals adds that hoteliers on the different islands "had been making the same arguments". "We were all critical of the speed and haste with which everything had been done. The moratorium on places was a bombshell, and we still can't accept it." He stresses that there already is a territorial plan in Minorca which regulates places.

Despite his surprise at the Mallorcan hoteliers' change of position, he points out that each island has its own circumstances to consider, a view echoed by Ana Gordillo, the president of the FEHIF Ibiza and Formentera Hoteliers Federation. She adds that the photo of Negueruela and the Mallorcan hoteliers "does not bother us". "They will have their reasons." Gordillo continues to reject the moratorium. "It should be abolished. The government boasts that the measure improves our quality as a destination, but for us it is an impediment."

The president of Pimem, Jordi Mora, "surprised" at what had happened, says that his federation has always been in favour of a decrease in tourist accommodation places so long as this is "equitable, proportional and fair". He accepts that limiting places in Mallorca "is not a whim, but a necessity". Pimem's interest in the decree is principally on behalf of associations for the holiday let sector but also some small hotels.

The tourism decree, which is in force, does however have to be verified by parliament. Amendment is therefore possible. But the government has suggested that the moratorium will not be changed.