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Spanish tourism minister holidays at illegal hotel

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Spanish tourism minister holidays at illegal hotel
The five-star hotel had its opening license taken away for building for double the number of beds allowed by local planning laws. Photo: Jose Dieguez/AFP, ISO photo/Flickr
13:11 CEST+02:00
Spain's head of tourism has come under fire for staying at an illegal hotel during his summer holidays on the Canary island of Lanzarote.

It’s not the first time José Manuel Soria — Spanish minister for Industry, Energy and Tourism — has got himself into hot water over his choice of holiday accommodation.

The Canary-born politician has for the second year running booked a stay at a hotel which breaches local urban planning regulations.

“I don’t tend to ask for business licenses when I stay at a hotel,” Soria joked in the Spanish Parliament when quizzed on the matter.

Hotel Volcán Lanzarote is one of 17 establishments that have had their business licenses revoked on the island.

The five-star hotel had its opening license taken away for building  for double the number of beds allowed by local planning laws.

One of the ex-mayors in the town of Yaiza, where the hotel stands, has been charged with bribery in return for building licenses, money laundering, perversion of justice and misusing public funds.

The news comes in the wake of Greenpeace’s condemnation of Spain’s new coastal law.

The environmental group argues the country’s coast will be further destroyed by a new regulation which reduces the area where construction is completely banned from 100 metres (330 feet) to 20 metres from the coastline and extends leases of built-up coastal land.

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