Friday, October 24, 2014

Martínez Clarifies ... Or Does He?

Balearics tourism minister, Jaime Martínez, who has succeeded in elevating obfuscation to new heights in tourism legislation - a significant feat, it should be said, given the opacity with which this legislation has traditionally been drafted - was answering questions earlier this week which were supposedly going to clarify some of the less clear aspects of the latest round of Jaime tourism legislation. Specifically, there was the issue of holiday lets, about which Jaime admitted that there might just be a little lack of clarity, though it might be noted that he had been told in pretty much no uncertain terms by the sensible people at the Chamber of Commerce that he needed to make things clearer, while, or so I understand, there are those within his own ministry who are far from impressed by his leadership and who have also urged him to create greater transparency.

So, what did we get? Jaime said that there wouldn't be any of this business about properties having been built before 1960 or getting permission from neighbours, which was something we already knew, as Madrid had told him he couldn't make such legal provisions. He then went on to explain that there will be a softening of the law, accepting that there are concerns with how holiday apartments can be marketed through websites and other media. He was making reference to the prohibition on the use of terms such as "holiday" or "vacation", and appeared to suggest that such terms will now be allowed. But was he only referring to properties rented out under the Tenancy Act or was he referring to a broader scope for allowing owners to rent out without running the risk of being fined? It was probably the former, but as Jaime Land is one of confusion, we are still unsure. One thing he did suggest would happen would be that future regulation would include a list of "channels" which would be prohibited in order to remove any doubts. Which meant? Hard to say for the moment, but you never know, there may come a time when the legislation is all crystal clear, though you wouldn't bet on it.

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