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Algarve tourist tax 'only for some council areas'

6237News released at the end of last week by the Algarve’s mayors’ group, AMAL, stated that the vote to start the process to introduce a regional tourist tax was approved ‘unanimously’ - which turns out not to be strictly correct.
The mayor of Silves, Rosa Palma, was unable to attend the AMAL meeting on March 9th but had emailed her tourist tax views prior to the meeting.
The press release from AMAL did mention that the 16 Algarve council chiefs had approved the controversial measure, when in fact only 15 were represented at the meeting.
last Saturday, AMAL sent note  to newsrooms, saying that the decision had been 'unanimously taken by the 16 municipalities of the Algarve.'
Silves council today issued a stiff note to deny its mayor had anything to do with agreeing the introduction of the tax which Rosa Palma sees as detrimental to tourism in the Silves area, which includes the hotel-filled seaside town of Armação de Pêra.
Her other objection is based on an opinion that that only parliament can introduce this type of tax, something parliament has yet to clarify.
Tavira Mayor, Jorge Botelho, as president of AMAL, was contacted by regional news service Sul Informação: Botelho claimed that, despite the absence of the Mayor of Silves from the meeting, "the decision is unanimous, the 15 mayors  present voted favourably.”
Botelho said he had received an email from Palma but that this was not counted as a ‘no’ vote as only those mayors voting in person are counted and that the press release stating that 16 mayors ‘voted unanimously’ was an error from the press office.
The president of AMAL also explained that, anyway, the tax might end up not being collected in all of the Algarve's council areas as all that AMAL had voted on was that the 16 Algarve councils would now take the proposal to their own assemblies for a vote.
This sort of shambles is not unusual in regional politics with bold press releases later being unpicked to get at the nuggets of truth within.
Botelho may be unaware that the AMAL press release, containing the statement that the 'tourist tax was unanimously approved,' is the phrase most likely to attract media attention at home and abroad and will be read by those in the tourism industry upon whom the region relies to keep sending tourists to the Algarve's hotels.   
For example, in The Sun


-1 #1 Richard 2 2018-03-13 16:53
I certainly hope that Albufeira introduces the tourist tax. Perhaps the young Brits and Dutch will choose other destinations and save the tourist tax to buy one last beer.