Dear Sir, Ms Anne Kay's confirmation in her column of Tuesday, that indeed the figures were correct, ie, 330 million pesetas of state funds were used to acquire a plot of just over 20'000 sq ms in Andraitx was welcome clarification, but her comparison of a land plot to build apartments being sold for 10 million pesetas is hardly a comparison of values. If only four apartments were built on the plot, making a land content value of 2'500'000 pesetas per dwelling, this only emphasises the huge amount paid for a plot that could only have one house built to replace the one in ruins. That same day in a Spanish newspaper, a plot in Andraitx with permission for eight houses to be built is offered for sale at 55 million pesetas. Whilst Alcudia is not Andraitx (and vice versa -- different preferences) we (our estate agency), have a parcel of land of 42'000 sq ms, only three minutes drive to either port or town, commanding total views across the Bay of Alcudia, with permission to build 500 sq ms of house, for 85 million pesetas, one-third of the Andraitx plot price purchased with state funds, yet double the sq ms.
I think readers should be given a better insight through Ms Kay's reporting, ie: did the council approach the Balearic government for the purchase of this land? Were they refused? I would find this hard to understand as this government seems very aware of conservation. Then the state funds were made available by Jaume Matas, a minister in the Madrid government. Were these funds taken from Spanish taxation, or European Union grants? If the latter, after the recent exposure of misuse of European funds by the Balearic government when Sr Matas was president and have to be repaid by the new government (nice legacy!) and there was nearly a sanction made against the Balearics by the EU of suspension of further grants for some years, then special care should be taken when giving out such a large sum for seemingly such a small object.
The best reporting gives a complete picture, showing all aspects of a case, both sides of an issue, so readers can best assess/judge for themselves, and make an informed opinion. Hopefully the point has been made!