Tourism minister, Iago Negueruela (left), with Josep Melia of El Pi. | Jaume Morey

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The parties that form the Balearic government coalition - PSOE, Més, Podemos - have reached agreement with the opposition party El Pi on the conversion of obsolete hotels.

El Pi had proposed amendments to the tourism law currently being processed by parliament. On obsolete hotels, the agreement for conversion to residential accommodation is for 50% of converted rooms/apartments to be for VPO social housing, and not 100%. In addition, there is agreement to allow plots of land currently designated for tourism use to be for the building of homes, care homes or offices. Mechanisms are to be written into the law to safeguard jobs, this having been a major concern of unions. Full details regarding these amendments have yet to emerge.

Another of the El Pi amendments concerned rules for expansion of hotel facilities. The law, as originally drafted, allowed for expansion within hotel grounds equivalent to 15% of the existing built area. This is not expansion for more rooms but for facilities that will assist in modernisation. In return for this expansion, the original text required the elimination of five per cent of a hotel's beds. The amendment will now exempt small hotels from this five per cent requirement, while the percentage - up to five per cent - will otherwise be proportionate to the expanded area.

There is also amendment with regard to all beds in hotel establishments being elevatable. Where hotels are in buildings classified as assets in the cultural interest, this will not be a requirement. El Pi had argued that there should be exemption for establishments with a traditional character. This has been accepted for hotels in listed buildings but not for agrotourism establishments, which El Pi had also proposed.

Other amendments to have been agreed are two from Podemos - one for a minimum of three per cent of a hotel's menu to comprise local products and another for hotels to provide electric charging points for every ten parking spaces.