AN anti-highway development lobby calling itself Autovía No (No to the Motorway), presented a total of 21'000 signatures yesterday at the offices of the regional Ministry of Public Works, a sizeable slice of public opinion firmly against the construction of the Inca-Manacor dual carriageway. Time is now officially up for legal objections to be raised against its building.
The platform's spokesman, Miguel Gelabert, claimed that the collected signatures represented a sound rebuttal of the project by Majorcan society. The view of all those who put pen to paper is that the new highway is nothing less than a a strong attack on a much-valued local environment. Local people believe that the new road construction will bring very negative repercussions in its wake. Particularly affected, they fear, will be the agricultural way of life. Smallholding owners are worried that annual yields will be depleted. Members of the platform reiterated their cries in favour of the upgrading of the existing roadway and their support of better planned public transport as alternatives to the dual carriageway. Gelabert accused the central government delegation in the Balearics of failing to impose reasonable judgement when the time came to sentencing anti-highway demonstrators who erupted into violence at a Council meeting in Costitx. The lobby spokesman criticised the fact that out of 14 demonstrators, only one had received a 300 euro fine for brawling in the meeting. That person alleged Gelabert, was the very person who accepted the support of the legal services of the mayor of Costitx, María Antonia Munar. The other 13 who were fined, who had been legally advised by the Balearic ecological watchdog, GOB, had penalties of 3'000 euros each imposed on them he said. Gelabert accused the central government delegate, Miguel Ramis of playing a shoddy hand in the matter. A spokesman for GOB, Miguel Angel March, pointed out that those affected have a time period of 15 days in which to present counter-claims against the ruling of the Central Government department and two months for handing over the money they have been ordered to pay. There is widespread opposition to the local government's controversial road plan.
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