Staff reporter TO “improve” aid for transport, to exempt the Balearics and the Canary Islands from having to lift restrictions on daily trading hours, and to win commercial legislation pertaining specifically to the archipelagos, are key objectives of the newly-formed Spanish Confederation for Island-based Small and Medium-sized businesses (Copymsula). On the signing of its constitution in Palma yesterday, Copymsula's objectives were announced to the media by the heads of the Balearic commercial federation Afedeco, and the commercial federation operating in the Canary Islands, Coreco, Pau Bellinfante and Luis de Miguel Bartolomé, respectively. Both gave backing to the creation of this organisation, and approval to its aims and objectives, which had already been ratified last April in Las Palmas in the Canary Islands. Miguel Bartolomé, also a leading figure in Copymsula, explained that the idea of creating this organisation emerged from the importance of making central government understand the economic “peculiarities” of the Balearic and Canary Islands. The archipelagos have to bear certain costs that cannot be described as “run of the mill”. Bellinfante, vice-president of the association, reported that merchandise on the Islands is between 5 and 7 percent dearer than on the Peninsula due to transport costs, a percentage which is even higher on the Canary Islands given their greater geographical distance from the Peninsula. To these higher costs, have to be added others which cover inter-island distribution and which are eventually reflected in the price of the merchandise. It is for this reason that the “improvement” in financial aid to the transport sector, granted by central government, will be one of the principal claims of Copymsula. Another major petition of the new body is that central government pay heed to the “peculiarities” of the trading companies in the Balearics and the Canary Islands and that it “respect” that these territories should have their own legislation, different from the national, said the head of Afedeco. Similarly, Copymsula demanded from central government that the two archipelagos be exempt from lifting restrictions on trading hours, a statute which is due to come into force in other areas of Spain in January 2005.