Francesc Antich.

Housing and crime are the chief concerns of people in the Balearics, 47 per cent of whom approve the government's performance to date, compared to 28 per cent who do not. This was revealed in a survey commissioned by the government and conducted by Sondymark. Government spokesman Antoni Garcias presented details of the survey, the third of its kind, which is based on 1'600 interviews in the Balearics between May 8 and June 5 this year, with a margin of error of 2.5 per cent. After housing and crime, which moved up from fourth place to second, come public transport and the bad state of the roads. The state of the roads led to the sacking of public works minister Josep Antoni Ferrer almost a year ago, but the matter is no longer the second biggest worry, something which Garcias attributed to the success of the government's roads policy. Concern about water supplies, which was the chief concern in 2000 has now slipped down to 14th place. In Palma, crime is the biggest concern, followed by cleaning, traffic, public transport and immigration. In the outlying towns and villages, however, housing, or rather the shortage of housing, is the biggest concern and crime is only in fourth place. Housing is also the biggest worry in Minorca, were 45.6 per cent of those consulted expressed concern about the cost and shortage of housing. This is more than double the number last year. In Ibiza, the chief concerns are public transport, and housing while crime is only in eighth place. The survey also touched on tourism, with nearly 33 per cent of those consulted saying that there are too many, while roughly the same number felt that the quality of hotels was a problem. Nearly 39 per cent worried because tourism is concentrated in the summer months and 70 per cent were worried about the low spending power of tourists. As to home rule, 54.7 per cent felt that the level in the Balearics was sufficient and 58 per cent said that the Balearics hands over too large a slice of its income from taxes to the central government. The survey also confirmed that the conservative Popular Party (PP) and the Majorcan Socialist Party (PSM) are losing popularity, Majorcan Union (UM) has gained slightly and the Spanish Socialist Workers Party (PSOE) has consolidated its position. The United Left-Greens coalition is now the third political force in the Balearics, ranking higher than the PSM. As to the politicians themselves, former leader Jaume Matas, the central minister of the environment, is the best known, being recognised by 88 per cent of those consulted. Government leader Francesc Antich was second with 81 per cent. In Majorca, Council president Maria Antonia Munar was recognised by nearly 90 per cent. When it came to performance, and marks out of ten, Francesc Antich was the only one to pass, with 5.4 points. Second were labour minister Eberhard Grosske of the United Left and Jaume Matas of the PP, both with 4.9 points. Garcias was quick to point out that two years ago Matas had scored 6.1. Margalida Rosselló, the environment minister of the Greens and Pere Sampol (PSM), the deputy leader, scored 4.8. In Palma, Jaume Font, the PP spokesman in the Council of Majorca, had 5.4 points and Mayor of Palma Joan Fageda scraped by with five.


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