Balearic innovation and energy minister Priam Villalonga claimed yesterday that the provisional list of gas projects of common interest drawn up by the European Union showed that Brussels “still supports” the Balearic government's initiative to build a gas pipe linking the Balearics and the Peninsula to bring natural gas to the islands. He denied claims by Joan Flaquer, spokesman of the conservatives in the local parliament, who claimed that the list, which once approved will determine which initiatives will receive a 20 per cent subsidy from the EU, showed that Brussels rejected the gas pipe and favoured an electric cable for the Balearics. But according to Villalonga, the document “which is a proposal, not a resolution,” classifies the gas pipe as being “of community interest” as “the only interconnection between the islands and the Peninsula” and the electric connection between Majorca and Ibiza. Villalonga went on to say that an electric cable between Majorca and Ibiza is not a priority for the government, as it will not be necessary if the gas pipe is built. Villalonga accused the conservatives of wanting all the projects of interest for the Balearics to fail. And he stressed that according to surveys conducted by the government, the gas pipe is cheaper than an electricity cable and is more respectful of the environment. The Balearics were excluded from the central government's master plan for energy, so that other alternatives could be studied.

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