By Humphrey Carter

HAVING inherited a debt of over 400 million euros, the new Mayor of Palma has a mountain to climb as he sets about putting the local council back on track.

And, for a man whose two primary concerns for the capital are safety and cleanliness, it is not only the larger than expected deficit he and his team have inherited.

It appears that loans taken out by the former Socialist-led coalition council and sanctioned by the ex-Mayor Aina Calvo, have been left on Isern's table with some vary nasty small print. It is understood that some of the loans taken out by Calvo are hinged to some alarming guarantees such as increases in metro fares and property taxes over the next two years.

But Calvo is no longer around to face the music, it is Isern who has to sort this financial mess out while trying to trim spending at City Hall.

And, if that was not enough, he and his team have since learnt that there are employees working for the council's public companies, such as the EMAYA water board, earning double what the mayor does for the most menial of tasks - not to mention the capital's cleaning staff going on holiday during the busiest months of the year - April to September - which is when the city is at its busiest. Nevertheless, Isern has it clear what he has to do and providing he can carry it out with maximum transparency, the public will no doubt back him all the way.