Aina Salom, the Balearic health minister, said yesterday that the government will accept the demands of the central government over the transfer of responsibility for the health service to the islands, although it is not in agreement with them. She accused the central government of “blackmailing” the Balearic community by tying the transfer into accepting a new system of finance. Madrid introduced an amendment which leaves all the communities which do not accept the transfer outside the new system of finance. This has forced the Balearics to accept the government's conditions, even though it means less money than originally demanded. The technical committee will meet in Madrid today to study the transfer in detail and Salom told Parliament yesterday that she will go to the meeting with a list of demands. They include a demand for 105'000 million pesetas, plus a series of additional investments coming to 30'000 million pesetas. Although she said that she would try to obtain the best financing possible, she admitted that the Balearics were not in a position to reject the transfer, as that would mean being cut off from funds. Salom said that the new demands made her feel “deceived” over the development of negotiations held up to date. She said that the central government had no desire to negotiate, but to impose its will. But, she added, at all events, the Balearics will be the winner with the transfer, “because we will be starting from a very bad situation.” Salom criticised the attitude of the government, ruled by the Popular Party, and the health minister. The central health minister is due in Palma at the weekend, to open the Second National Health hospital, which is still unfinished.


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