By Humphrey Carter I T was not the most exciting of political debates between presidential candidates. To begin with the Socialist Balearic President Francesc Antich and the opposition Partido Popular's candidate, Jose Ramon Bauza, were comfortably seated either side of the IB3 moderator as opposed to standing, so there was going to be very little body language to add to the supposed showdown. That said, Bauza was clever with his use of language, he spoke in both Catalan and Castellano as an indication of changes to come in the education system should the PP return to power on Sunday.

During the debate, which went on for nearly 90 minutes, Bauza was relaxed and stuck to the script agreed to before the debate and refused to take the bait Antich kept throwing in by referring to the PP's corruption riddled past. The President used the night to champion how his broken coalition has managed to govern over the past four years “by keeping their hands clean” while Bauza attacked his government and the Socialists in general for having read the recession wrongly, reacted too late and reacted poorly. At times, the debate was more like a party political broadcast, both men were keen to defend and explain their policies, but for those who have been following the campaign, neither politicians brought anything new to the half moon table. Antich, wearing a red tie, repeated that the Balearics will be first to emerge from the recession while open-necked Bauza warned of severe austerity cuts if the PP win.