Balearic leader Francesc Antich and his minister of the interior Josep Maria Costa chaired a meeting of representatives of town and island councils and business organisations yesterday, to explain the results of their meeting with central minister of the interior Angel Acebes. Costa stressed the need for greater co-ordination between the different police forces. He also explained that more police officers would be contracted and vacancies would be covered. According to his department there are 500 vacancies. Mayor of Calvia Margarita Nájera said that it was essential for Acebes to recognise the importance of tourism in the Balearics, which made the need for co-ordination doubly important. All the town councils represented want the islands to be recognised as a tourist community. They pointed out that the Balearics welcome between ten and 12 million tourists a year and their safety must be guaranteed. Jordi Cabrer, the president of the Playa de Palma hoteliers association, thanked Antich for his efforts in this department, and expressed his confidence in a solution being found. “We want to ask for coherence, a calendar, and a meeting which is not a symbolic gathering, but effective,” he said, adding that they would like to see the justice system speeded up, especially for petty crime. The representative of the Council of Majorca congratulated the Balearic government for having opened a channel of communication with Madrid. He said that he hoped it was true that there would be more police on the islands.

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