By Anne Kay

THE Partido Popular of the Balearics was originally founded as Alianza Popular in 1976 after the death of Franco, and taking on its present name in 1989. The politics of the party have similarly moved from the conservative right to a progressive slightly right of centre. In the Balearics the party held the governing power together with the help of Union Mallorquina from 1983 and lost this control, in 1999 when the hinge party decided to move towards the left to take part in the Progress Pact. At present on the Majorcan Council there are 16 seats occupied by P.P. with the remaining 17 seats taken by the Progress Pact, PSOE 8, PSM 4, UM 3 and EU 2. In the whole of the Balearic Parliament they have 28 seats, in opposition to the Progress Pact that has 31. The ten main points of their programme for the Balearics, which has chosen the slogan “SI,” “Yes” in obvious contrast to the current demos that have pronounced “NO,” and which are summarised here:

YES TO EDUCATION AND CULTURE
The PP is the only party that can aspire to governing alone in the Balearics. It is a moderate centre with experience in the administration. It opts for the defence and support for Balearic Culture, defending the linguistic unity of the insular language varieties but also accepting that the two main languages, Castilian and Catalan, should live peacefully together in equal conditions without any discrimination.

Because of this concept, the PP will guarantee the possibility for education to be chosen in either of the two official languages of the islands, without imposing a system of only one language. Students should be able to complete their studies with a fluent use of both these languages and a reasonable knowledge of at least one foreign language.

YES TO MERIT
All topics for youngsters will be promoted, sport, housing, jobs, training, education, culture, entertainment. Similarly equal opportunities for women, without any need for imposed alternation in electoral lists since the capacity and merit of each person is considered.

YES TO EMPLOYMENT, TOURISM AND ENVIRONMENT
The party's policies for promoting employment has been proved by previous years when the Community had the best figures for employment in Spain as opposed to present poor statistics. P.P. will carry out constant effort to promote off peak tourism with more diversification to create more jobs. This is also connected to the party's policies for tourism, with a priority of promoting once more the tourism on the islands in conjunction with preservation of the surroundings, two ideas that can go hand in hand. Economy and ecology together is a viable possibility. The present insecurity in planning has resulted in an even greater urban growth that the governing parties were supposed to oppose. Definitely the eco-tax (tourist tax) will be removed. l It will guarantee sufficient budget for the improvement of the agriculture and fishing industries particularly the search for new markets. This will include proposing hunting as a complement to agriculture.

YES TO COMMUNICATIONS
The islands need better road communications and improvements in the existing ones. The present government has not taken advantage of funds that would have been available for this purpose from the central government in Madrid. These roads will include a second ring road for Palma, extension to the Inca motorway, the Palma Manacor motorway and more on the other islands.

Improvements in public transport will include railway extensions, already started by P.P. previously, extending the line from Inca to Sa Pobla to reach Alcudia and others.

P.P. will continue to give direct help to youngsters and families to acquire their first homes or to refurbish existing ones. This latter would help reduce the number of empty homes that exist.

YES TO SHORTER WAITING LISTS
Health will have priority to overcome the detrimental results of the present government's policies which have resulted in longer waiting lists. Centres will be opened to deal with the problems of particular groups such as people with handicaps, the elderly, drug addiction, etc., with support for the families of these groups. There will be collaboration with other entities that have plans to carry out specific programmes in this connection.

YES TO LESS TAXES
In spite of the improvements, this will not result in higher taxes since a better use of public money will be made. P.P. plans to eliminate inheritance tax between parents and children. There will also be special fiscal benefits for families with three children or over, for youngsters and for the handicapped by removing existing taxes. In all this respect, P.P. will work towards giving the local town councils far more responsibilities in handling their own budgets and needs.

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