ALTHOUGH they failed to win a seat in central government, leaders of the Majorcan Socialist Party (PSM), the United Left (EU), the Greens (EV) and the Republican Left of Catalonia (ERC) who teamed up to form a coalition for the general elections (the Balearic Island Progressive Party), described the election results as positive yesterday. They were confident that the Spanish Socialist Workers Party (PSOE), soon to be in power in Madrid under José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, will benefit the Balearics. The coalition also appealed to the government of the Partido Popular, currently in power in the Balearics, to change the direction of their policies. In order to analyse the results of last Sunday's voting and to discuss their approach to the future once the coalition is dissolved, a press conference was held by secretary general of the PSM, Mateu Morro; the general coordinator of the United Left, Miquel Rosselló; the Green Party coordinator, Margalida Rosselló and the head of the Islands branch of ERC, Joan Lladó. The EU representative signalled that last weekend's general elections had been profoundly influenced by the bombing atrocities in Madrid which left over 200 people dead. The huge psychological impact that the massacre had upon voters, together with subsequent street protests, had to be taken into account, they said. Few voters had in mind the manifestos of individual political parties when they went to the polls last Sunday Rosselló pointed out. He judged that the electoral polarisation between the Popular Party (PP) and the Spanish Socialist Workers Party (PSOE) damaged the candidature of the Progressive coalition and deprived it (the coalition) of securing a deputy in central government. The sharp swing was undoubtedly, in his view, a direct consequence of the terrorist attack. The United Left co ordinator reported that the coalition had needed less than 6'000 more votes to enable its representative, Nanda Ramón, to secure a seat in Congress. He furthered that the Socialist victory has opened a window of opportunity for peace, democracy, self-government and a change in social policy.
His party would demand of the recently elected PSOE that they fulfill their promises, and had planned a meeting with Balearic Socialist deputy elect, Francesc Antich. Morro urged the beginning of a new political era in which the dynamic of the PP in the Balearic Islands must be broken as their (PP) strategy is to criminalise all political opposition with the Balearic Islands. Margalida Rosselló declared that now is the moment to address projects which the Balearic government, under the PP, intends to impose.
Particularly contentious current issues in the region include controversial road building plans.
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