Employment in the Balearics has never been higher. | Josep Bagur Gomila


On Friday, the acting minister for the economic model, tourism and employment, Iago Negueruela, hit back at comments made by the president of the Mallorca Hoteliers Federation, Maria Frontera, which welcomed an end to "interventionism" in Balearic tourism policies.

At what was probably his last press conference to present the latest employment figures, Negueruela stressed that he was "very proud" of the work that had been carried out with companies in the hotel sector and pointed out that "there is always interventionism, whatever the ideology". In reference to the comments, he believed that they were directed more towards those entering government rather than those exiting. "I can understand them. Are they unfair? Well, I am proud to have worked with many companies, associations and entities in the hotel sector."

The hoteliers have not been alone in expressing criticism. The Habtur holiday rentals association has called Negueruela "the worst tourism minister in history". For the acting minister, these criticisms are part of a "legitimate and democratic" procedure, certain elements having expressed "their interests" all along. "But there is nothing that is not ideological. When they ask for there to be no ideology, what they are asking for is liberal ideology. When they say that they prefer less intervention, what they mean is that they prefer lower salaries and more temporary contracts."

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On Habtur's specific criticisms, Negueruela stated that "I am proud to be able to say that we have these figures of full employment without the 90,000 more accommodation places that are being sought by the holiday rental sector. We don't need them." Through its statements, Habtur is looking to persuade the next government "to put 90,000 more places on the market in order to generate even more speculation in the real-estate market and on the right to housing".

"I am very proud to have blocked tourist places. We have shown that it is possible to stop the growth of places and to have better data than ever. All these places, the Habtur 90,000 plus the ones that hoteliers federation is requesting from the moratorium, are concentrated on the summer months. Why are we going to have more places when there's full employment? We will harm our quality as a tourist destination and generate an economic imbalance."

As to the latest employment figures, those for May, there were more than 600,000 people registered for work with social security, the highest ever for a May and in line with the maximums of last year in July and August. "The figures by which we will be judged are these and they are the best in history. The new government must protect them from now on."