Francina Armengol made a direct address to the citizens of the Balearics last week. At the end of the address, I was left wondering if that was it. There was the request for Ibiza and Minorca to enter Phase 1, but the address was otherwise bereft of anything meaningful.
That request, which came to nothing, does have to be considered within the context of what is more meaningful - the weekly videoconference involving Pedro Sánchez and the regional presidents. Phase 1 for the two islands was a plea for special treatment, and special treatment for the Balearics is now the dominant theme of these videoconferences; dominant where Francina Armengol is concerned, that is.
The 16,000 million euros fund for the regions that Sánchez has promised was, said the president, a “step forward”. But it wasn’t sufficient. Not for the Balearics, a region which has always displayed great solidarity with the state (on account of the extent to which the Balearics help to fund other regions) and which now needs “extraordinary help” from the state.
Armengol has made this point over and over; it is because of the Balearic dependence on tourism. The Balearics have helped out other regions over the years, and now it’s our turn. Fair enough, but there will come a time when the negotiations will restart regarding a reform of regional financing and the Balearic claim for a fairer system. Extraordinary help yes, but be careful with not antagonising other regions, whose support for reform will ultimately be needed.