By Anne Kay

AN AIR of firm optimism filled the room in the buffet organised in Portals Nous by the Partido Popular of Calvia on Thursday evening.
Over 300 people, mostly British and a representative group of Germans, listened eagerly to the different politicians who stated their reasons why they believe that not only Calvia, but the whole of the Balearics needs a change in the political field. They were accompanied by the main candidates to the town halls of Calvia, Palma, Andratx, Llucmajor, Campos and Lloret plus members of parliament in Europe, Madrid and the Balearics, and the star guest, Loyola Palacio, the European Commissioner for Transport and Energy. Carlos Delgado, the PP candidate for Calvia started the talks in both Spanish and English saying that he thought those who had chosen Calvia as their place of residence had made a good choice since he thinks the municipality is a principal example of integration of Europeans in Spain and the Balearics in particular. But he added that his party is the only one that is able to make people feel at home, since the socialist's Progress Pact has done their best to make people feel unwanted, as he has been told by many foreign residents. He quoted the first three points on his electoral programme which are to reduce taxes, particularly 20 per cent in the urban rates, by a better use of public funds; to increase safety in the street by employing more local police; and thirdly giving special attention to European Citizens by opening a special office for them. The fourth item he said was the presence of Kate Mentink as number four on the candidature. Kate Mentink continued in three different languages and explained that she had finally made the decision to become involved in politics since she believed in the integrity of Carlos Delgado, the policies, and that it is a time for a change in Calvia after 20 years of Socialism and 12 years of Margarita Najara, with a blatant abuse of public money with too many spin doctors and body guards and uncontrolled spending in useless directions.

Carlos Ripoll, a European MP for Spain said that the evening was a homage for all those who had helped to make Majorca, either in silence or actively, since the foreign visitors have helped to make the Majorcans take big steps forward. His opinion of the present Balearic government was that it was one that prefers to say “No” and it was time to say “Yes” to the return of a true spirit of Majorca, one that had been previously a Utopia for the rest of Europe. He presented Sra. Loyola Palacio who he said is an example in the European Parliament.

In perfect English, Sra. Palacio said that it was a pleasure for her to see so many people who were a living proof that Europe is a reality.
She said that they were the new Majorcans and that together with the old Majorcans they had a right to be responsible for better management to properly use the citizens' taxes and public funds. She thought it was important to take responsibility by voting and to see how European citizenship is not a dream. She also thought it was important to build a Europe of Realities, to give citizens better chances, such as better air space, a single market of gas, more chances for everyone with a European model, using the assets but also the guarantees. She could see that Calvia and Majorca are linked to Spain, to Europe and to the world, saying that Jaume Matas, candidate for the Balearic government, is a link to an open door not always saying “no”.

Jaume Matas, who is also a resident of Calvia, surprised many people by speaking at first in English, and then in a very clear slow Spanish he explained the importance of the coming elections. He said he and his colleagues can vouch that the Balearic future was at stake since things have changed so much in the last four years for the worse. Admitting that there are external factors such as the September 11 attacks and the war, but the local policies have done a lot to make the Balearics the last in the list of 17 communities in creating wealth in Spain, whereas before it was number one. Whereas other resorts in Spain are still receiving a buoyant tourism, Balearics has a deteriorated image and has passed from number 1 destination to number 4 and 7'200 people have lost their jobs at a rate of 5 people every day now. Whereas previously there was a poster in the street and also in people's minds that said “Welcome to Majorca”, this no longer exists and too many people feel that they are not wanted. The tourist does not appear like manna from the sky but needs to be cared for. He hoped that with his party the islands could recover tolerance and the spirit that we have to defend, that we are all Majorcans, who know that tourism and the environment can go hand in hand.


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