Balearic agriculture minister Joan Mayol painted a gloomy picture of the sector when he appeared before Parliament to announce the latest figures which have triggered alarm. He said that the sector had lost 1'670 million pesetas in grazing, 995 million pesetas in almonds, 164 million in carobs, 800 million in fodder and 50 million in legumes. The total, nearly 3'700 million pesetas, is much higher than the figure bandied by the ministry only a week ago, which was 2'700 million pesetas. But Mayol warned that losses would continue as the agricultural year advances, especially if it fails to rain. He added that losses were expected to be higher than 5'000 million pesetas, in the opinion of many farming associations. The minister was involved in a verbal clash with Jaume Font, the Popular Party (PP) spokesman for agriculture, who questioned the government's farming policy and accused it of turning its back on the farmer. Mayol merely pointed out what had been achieved over the past year. He said that the most urgent measures had already been set in motion, such as bids to bring alfalfa from the Peninsula to feed livestock in Majorca and Minorca. The first shipment is due to arrive over the next few days. Mayol also said that credit lines had been opened for use by farmers until European Union aid arrived.


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