The issue over resident discounts on inter-island and domestic flights look set to become the platform on which the elections could be won or lost in the Balearics with the Partido Popular yesterday unveiling their policy, effective providing the opinion polls are right and they win. The Balearic government wants the 33 per cent reduction to be increased to 50 per cent in order to ease the extra costs caused by the 60 per cent rise in airline prices over the past six years and the issue is no longer a purely political one. Yesterday Palma's Citizen Forum launched a campaign living on an island doesn't mean living in isolation backing the call for 50 per cent reductions. Public opinion for an increase is growing rapidly, hence the issue may have become the big issue by the time the elections come around. The opposition Partido Popular said that any increases in reductions should be paid for by the Balearic government, a proposal rejected by the Balearic president last night as absurd and Antich said it is a scandal that the PP are trying to win votes by announcing that they will increase the reduction on air and sea travel once they have won the election. Antich pointed out that the biggest stumbling block to greater travel discounts is, ironically, the PP government in Madrid. On November 28, the Palma Citizen Forum will be holding a mass meeting of community groups and associations to discuss what protest action is going to be taken, but public demonstrations are looking increasingly likely. What the Forum is proposing is that new legislation be approved which will mean residents in the Balearics pay exactly the same for their air or sea journey as residents on the mainland would for a journey of similar duration and distance. A petition will also be signed and handed in to the central government delegation office.
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