MALLORCA hoteliers have slammed the island’s former tourism minister for branding them ‘exploiters’ in a speech at the Balearic parliament.
Iago Negueruela criticised the government for not bringing in extra employment inspectors during the summer season, leading to a greater ‘exploitation’ of workers and adding that ‘businesspeople can do what they want with impunity’.
Two island hotel associations – the FEHM and ACH – expressed their ‘total indignation’ at Negueruela’s remarks and said he had defamed the business community.
They pointed out that many ‘stable and quality’ jobs in the hotel sector had been created in recent years, helped by the disappearance of temporary employment contracts.
The Balearic Federation of Tourist Housing accused the ex-minister of ‘demonising the creators of wealth’ and called for him to apologise.
It added that small and medium-sized entrepreneurs employ people ‘with a lot of effort’.
Responding to the backlash, Negueruela said on Wednesday that he had spoken to ‘many businessmen’ after his speech and none of them felt they had been referred to when he made his comments over exploitation.
“Most businesses do things well and I was only pointing out those who exploit and remove controls in the workplace,” he added.