By Humphrey Carter

LAST week two significant things happened in Spain. The country's 17 regions, including the Balearics, were given six months to draw up and approve a plan to reduce their total 121 billion euro deficit and the Prime Minister called early general elections for November. However, while the PM himself devised the plan to tackle the country's regional debt, by the time the Balearics has signed off on its debt-busting measures, a new centre right Partido Popular government could be in place in Madrid.

There is no question that the new Prime Minister, be it the PP, as currently favoured according o the polls, or the Socialists, is going to have to deal with the country's internal deficit and the ongoing recession, but he may have different ideas of how that is going to be done under a new government.

So, the question which remains to be answered is will a new government honour the agreement struck last week with the 17 regional governments or review the plan?

Should the new PM choose the latter, then the next four months of planning how to tackle the Balearics' 4'483 million euro -plus debt, is going to have proven a waste of time and also a set back for the country as it battles to get its finances in order.

The PM's decision last week leave the Balearics in a quandary and, by making two conflicting announcements within 24 hours of each other, is exactly why he is stepping down.

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