By Lois Jones A political row sparked by Monday's power cut in the Balearics, blew up in Madrid yesterday. Socialist spokesman for Infrastructure, José Segura, accused the ruling Partido Popular yesterday of cutting the Balearics off from “an acceptable energy supply.” He proclaimed that it was inadequacy that led to the power cut last Monday which affected the whole of the island of Majorca and some sections of Minorca. People were without electricity for several hours.

Seguara slammed the power failure as a “third-world happening” and asked central government to give proper attention to the needs of the islands' inhabitants. They should be “treated on the same footing as all other Spaniards, and not as second-class citizens of some backwater” he claimed.
The parliamentary Socialist group in Madrid has already put forward various initiatives for specially tailored energy development programmes for Spanish communities that are not on the mainland, such as the Balearics and the Canaries. The National Socialist Party (PSOE) also wants to see the Partido Popular (PP) bring an end to the power monopolies in operation on the islands.
The Socialists would like to see the adoption of a Long Term Energy Plan 2002-2011 which was approved by the Balearic government.
The Plan made provision for increased power supply connections with the Peninsula so that the region would be able to cope with the gradual rise in demand for electricity. Segura explained one of the projects included in the Plan was the construction of a gas pipeline that would carry natural gas (less polluting than coal and gasoil) to Majorca via Ibiza where it would be converted into electricity.

The Socialist spokesman declared his support for the construction of necessary infrastructure which would enable the transport of electricity supplies from the mainland of Spain to all the Balearics. In his opinion, the fact that central government's (as opposed to the Balearics') Long Term Energy Plan 2002-2011 doesn't include the development of a gas pipeline to the Balearics and doesn't include the Community “in either the electricity system of the Iberian or European peninsulas” is tantamount to ”discrimination” which will lead to “inadequate” energy in the Islands. He said the “sectarian” attitude of the ruling Government, excluding the Baleares from its national energy plan “for political, and not technical, reasons” is “shameful and very damaging.” The Socialist spokesman asked for “urgent action” on the part of central government and expressed the hope that with a change of government in the Balearics, the Partido Popular might decide “a similar proposal” to that approved by the previous Socialist government, because it was a “very coherent and sensible” project.