COALITION FAILURE

By Jason Moore

WITHIN a few weeks the Balearics will be voting for a new regional government and hundreds of council seats. The five party coalition, which has ruled these islands for the last four years, is coming-up for re-election. Looking at the overall picture I would say that the coalition failed. It was a nice idea, merging socialists, nationalists, the far left and the greens. A refreshing change after 12 years of right-wing Partido Popular rule. However, the experiment has failed because it has proved a nightmare trying to unify all the parties under one President as they all have very different policies. Take the Majorcan Nationalist Party, Union Mallorquina, they believe in the construction of more golf courses and yacht clubs, an issue which both the Greens and the socialists are opposed to eventhough they are bed-mates in the Balearic government. This has been the problem - getting a broad agreement has been almost impossible as each of the five parties have different views on every aspect of local life. I must admit I admire the courage of Balearic President Francesc Antich who has managed to keep the coalition together for the last four years but the islands have suffered because policies have been muddled and confused. Probably the only key policy introduced by the coalition has been the tourist tax and there are many who hold this controversial surcharge responsible for the woes which have hit the tourist industry over recent years. If there is a new coalition after the elections then agreement must be sought first on key issues before it forms a government.

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