The paths of Chief Minister Francesc Antich and the Environment Minister Jaume Matas crossed yesterday and the two clashed over how best to solve the region's water problem. Matas again called on the Balearic government to make a decision over Madrid's offer to fund the construction of four permanent desalination plants in the Balearics and the expansion of the two existing ones. Matas and Antich are to meet officially and it appears that the meeting will be held shortly after September 5 which is when Matas is set to approve the National Water Plan which will release some 48'000 million pesetas for investments in the Balearics. Included in the 48'000 million pesetas destined for the Balearic water supply, is the 15'000 million Matas has made available to cover the costs of the desalination plant project, but Matas needs to have a clear indication as to the local government's intentions. Antich and Matas met yesterday at the inauguration of the seventh sea water supply line to the Palma desalination plant which has cost 1'000 million pesetas to install. Matas said that the investment is a clear indication as to how committed his department is in solving the water crisis “the project did not cost the Balearics a single peseta,” the Minister said yesterday.


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