ANOTHER day, another Balearic government crisis. All at a time when the Balearics is in economic crisis. Yesterday, Balearic leader Francesc Antich finally took some decisive action and expelled the Majorcan Unionist Party from his coalition.
He had no option. This small party has been tainted by political scandal. Yesterday, Antich sacked the three Majorca Unionist ministers including the Balearic minister for tourism. It means that in the space of three years the Balearics has had three ministers for tourism. Yesterday, the police also arrested former minister for tourism, Miguel Nadal, for questioning over the alleged mis-use of public funds. The coalition Balearic government, will now attempt to rule the Palma city council, the Council of Majorca and the Balearic government with no overall majority.
A difficult task. What concerns me is that at a time of deep economic recession the Balearic government has come to a standstill and little or no legislation will be passed because of all the political uncertainty. Key projects signed with the Balearic ministry for tourism will be in the spotlight and and many could be shelved as the police continue their probe into alleged political corruption in the Balearics.
The best thing that Antich can do is call early elections. The electorate should be able to have their say and I think this is the only way forward. However, how many people will vote for parties which have been tarnished by corruption and undecisiveness. I suspect that even if elections were called only 50 percent of the electorate would vote because of all the scandals. What has become evidently clear is that coalition governments do not work. Antich had attempted to bring together parties with very different political views. Added to all this were the allegations of corruption. If 2009 was a year to forget in the Balearics, 2010 is rapidly going the same way. There is little positive one can say about the Balearics at the moment.
The main regional authority is in meltdown and the local economy is in crisis with unemployment running at 100'000. Things can only get better, I hear you saying! Antich is talking about a root and branch reform of his government with various ministries being merged. I don´t know if this is a good idea or not but he must try and end all the uncertainty. The only way forward is calling early elections. On Thursday, when the Director General of Tourism Promotion, Joan Sastre, was arrested the Bulletin received a number of calls from worried members of the British travel industry. You can imagine their reaction yesterday when the minister for tourism, Miguel Ferrer, was removed from his post. What Antich has to realise is that this state of affairs has wide ranging repercussions, not just in the Balearics. The British travel industry are concerned that paralysis will set in and the local ministry for tourism will not function as it should do. What a nightmare scenario. Let us hope that the political crisis will end soon before it does too much damage otherwise 2010 is going to be another very bad year for these islands.