Following the well publicised 'Hoot for Yachting' protest orchestrated by all the yachting and water sports associations in The Balearics, the industry has been given a boost by the results of the Spanish regional elections, which took place on Sunday the 22nd May.The centre right Partido Popular, (PP) won a resounding victory in the islands taking control of every level of local government and ousting the fragile coalition of leftist, green and nationalist parties that have held power for four years.
The PP's Balearic President Jose Ramon Bauza had met local yachting industry leaders on several occasions before the election, and listened intently to their grievances about the fiscal and legislative burdens which have been stifling the growth of yachting in Spain.
Even more encouragingly, the PP won control on a regional basis right across Spain, thus increasing the likelihood that a more business minded administration will take over from the incumbent PSOE party in Madrid when an election is called, which has to be by Spring 2012 at the latest.
In his post victory statement to the press, Mr. Bauza who will now be the incoming President of The Balearic regional parliament, said that helping to scrap the 12 percent Matriculation Tax on yachts over 8 metres would be at the top of his priorities. In a far more internationally and EU focused vein than his predecessor seemed to show, he also promised to help foreign residents in The Balearics by establishing a special office in Palma to assist the non-Spanish community with their integration into the island's culture.
Locally based yachting industry businessman Oscar Siches, who is a partner in two of Palma's best known marinas said; "We are very happy to have a local administration in place who have stated that their door is open for us to consult with them on matters concerning the future development of our vibrant and revenue generating industry. Of course we are realistic, we know that there are no overnight miracles in any business area, but our fundamentals are sound, and we have one of the most comprehensive marine service infrastructures in the world. We don't need hand outs or subsidies, just a removal of the fiscal and legislative shackles, then our yachting industry will flourish again for the benefit of the whole local community."