By Anne Kay

SINCE the PSOE-PSIB is the party with the second most number of representatives in the Balearic Parliament and Government, I contacted them in person to find out about their programme. The reply came from their press office as follows: “For the coming elections the socialists present a new programme of continuity and extension of their action in the Balearic Government in the past four years. They will continue with the measures to preserve the territory and recover natural areas. The ecotax, of course, plays a fundamental part in this project. We improve the public's quality of life, we improve our surroundings and we attend the demands from the tourists. From our point of view, there is no contradiction between the interests of the tourists and the residents. We agree that the environment has to be defended, that massification has to be avoided and that products must have an adequate relation between quality and price. We are convinced that our policy ensures the economical future of the Balearics, that cannot return to a model of the Right, based on disordered construction and little preoccupation for the quality of the offer. “On the other hand, the Balearic Socialist's programme makes emphasis on the participation by everyone in the institutions, in the improvement of public services and social cohesion. Therefore we stress our interest in giving youngsters access to homes since these have increased so much in cost price in recent years. With this objective in mind, we propose the suppression of certain taxes on purchasing a house and the construction of social homes. We also want to help people conciliate their family and working life. We are committed to opening schools in the afternoons, and in these out-of-school hours, to improve the learning of English and new technologies, both essential if we want to be competitive. We will also continue to set up an authentic network of public transport. If in this legislature we have taken the train from Palma to Sa Pobla and from Palma de Manacor, in the next we shall join Palma, Calvia and Marratxi. This line will also join the centre of Palma with the airport. “For those who visit us and those who have settled here, we will create a European Consumers telephone service that will answer complaints and requests in their languages. Our programme is for everyone, without excluding anyone. ” According to details found on the internet, the Balearic Federation of Socialists of the PSOE is the oldest active political group in the Balearics, since it was founded in 1913. Even in 1892 there were socialists in different union organisations, and the first socialist elected onto the council in Palma was Francesc Roca in 1901.

Since the first democratic elections after Franco in 1977 they have been the main left representation on Majorca.
At present the President of the Balearics is a member of the PSOE and part of the progress pact. Of the 59 members of the Balearic Parliament, 8 from the PSOE represent Majorca, 7 Minorca and 6 Ibiza and Formentera in a coalition with IU, ERC and ENE. Their programme for the coming elections is extensive and far too long to reproduce here but to add a bit more information to that offered by their press office, I would point out some main points and what they plan to do.

TOURISM They plan to:
Subsidize the first certificate of quality and environmental administration of tourist establishments to increase the number of hotels, restaurants, travel agencies, etc that have this certificate.

Promote the different identities of the islands.
Create five main areas on Majorca, Bay of Palma, Tramuntana, The Plain, Bays of the North, and the East and promote their differences.
Promote cultural tourism, congresses by creating a Congress Palace, Ecotourism facilitating access to natural parks with control.
Promote walking holidays, golfing, other sports, nautical stations with sailing and windsurf centres.
Promote new investigations and new technologies.
Encourage renovation of older buildings to reduce number of rooms by creating larger ones with new services.
New laws for the reconversion of the tourist offer.

They plan to:
Develop the Law of Commerce already passed.
This controls the opening days, opening hours, types of shops permitted in a town, etc.
Support the urban commerce.
Promote training courses for employers and employees.

They want to improve the following roads Palma Nova-Santa Ponsa, Peguera-Valldemossa, Palma-University Inca-Sa Pobla, Arenal-Llucmajor


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