By Lois Jone
BALEARIC government debates on current regional affairs came to a close on Thursday this week, marking the first 100 days in power of the new president, Jaume Matas. Joan Flaquer, spokesman for the ruling Popular Party, reported yesterday that the debate, threw into sharp relief the fact that the opposition parties had no sense of direction, that what few alternative policies they had were lacking in substance, and that they had very little to offer. At the Press conference following the weekly Balearic cabinet meeting, Flaquer said that the ruling party were “completely confident” that the political confrontation expected this week in Parliament, would be to their advantage. “The present government is one that shows initiative” asserted Flaquer. “It takes decisions and has a clear vision of the future for the society it represents”. “Our plans have the support of the majority of voters in the Balearics who went to the polls on 25th May this year”, claimed the spokesman, making reference to the outright majority victory achieved by the Popular Party. In Flaquer's view, the outcome of voting on government proposals, which was the final stage of Thursday's debate on general policy, also served to reveal that “the reason why the previous government never got down to building any roads was because parties that went to make up the coalition couldn't agree”. The spokesman drew an example of the “no” vote returned from the United Left/Green Party in response to a selection of 20 highway development proposals put forward by the ruling Popular Party. Such road projects are financed through an agreement with the central government Ministry of Public Works. The fact that the United Left/Green coalition said “no” to every single one is evidence, according to Flaquer, that this branch of the Opposition were prepared to return a negative vote on absolutely any proposal, no matter what its content. “The problem did not lie with Madrid, and not even with the Ministry of Public Works or in agreements that the Balearics have with it” said Flaquer. “It was simply the fact that the United Left/Green party coalition didn't want to vote with us on anything at all”. “The debate also proved that the Partido Popular is determined to fulfil its commitments and one of them is the suppression of the unjust inheritance tax”, declared Flaquer. He stated that the Spanish National Socialists voted against another resolution put forward by a member of their own coalition in which the Balearic government had been urged to abolish this tax during the present term of office. “The members of the Socialist Opposition can't agree among themselves and fortunately, the voting population knows it”, Flaquer drove home. On a separate issue, the government spokesman who is also Balearic Minister for Tourism, gave assurances that the Islands' government will do all it can to guarantee that the hotels who haven't paid the Ecotax will do so. “We work on the principle of equality before the law” said Flaquer. As for the possibility that the ex Balearic president and Socialist leader, Francesc Antich, might head up the Balearic candidature of his party in the next general elections, Flaquer declared: “He is free to be an Opposition deputy in the Balearic parliament or to be one in central government”.


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