After having smoked the pipe of peace on Tuesday, the Mayor of Palma, Joan Fageda and Balearic leader Francesc Antich sat down yesterday for the second and final day of ground-breaking talks between the local government and the city council. One of the big issues Fageda is keen to tackle, and failed to address on Tuesday, is that of drinking in public places. Some councils in Spain have recently prohibited the practice as part of a general crackdown on under aged drinking and Fageda is hoping to persuade the Balearic government to adopt similar laws or at least back prohibition in Palma. The city council and the government, who have never met under such circumstances before, have also agreed to co-operate in the drive to encourage more people to use public transport. Over the past two years, Palma city council has invested millions in improving the bus service while the government has taken care of improving rural transport connections and links with the capital. However, Fageda, Antich and those present at yesterday's meeting agreed that more efforts have to be made to convince the general public to leave their cars at home. A task force will also be set up to address the problems facing first time home buyers and the massive potential in Palma for property renovations for the first home market. Earlier in the day, the government announced plans to build 1'050 subsidised homes for both the public and private sectors. But both administrations agreed that more help, both practically and financially, needs to be offered to first time buyers in Palma where purchase and rental property prices are some of the highest in Spain.


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