By Humphrey Carter
THE heirs to the Spanish throne, Prince Felipe and the Princess of Asturias Letizia Ortiz, were yesterday offered an official invitation to tour the Balearic islands by regional leader Jaume Matas.

The invitation was made during the traditional summer meeting at the Almudaina Palace between King Juan Carlos, in Palma with the rest of the royal family for the annual summer holiday, and the Balearic president. Emerging from the meeting yesterday morning, Matas said that “on behalf of the Balearic people” he invited the heirs to the throne to tour and get to know the island. While Prince Felipe has been a regular visitor to Majorca, this is the first time he has been officially accompanied by his wife, the future Queen, since they wed in May.

Matas said that he hoped the couple will visit the islands “soon, providing their schedule permits.” As always, King Juan Carlos is extremely interested in the developments in the Balearics and the welfare of the people.
The King also received the spokespeople for the various parliamentary groups and the Speaker of the Balearic parliament, Pere Rotger.
According to Rotger, the King encouraged them all to keep working hard in the best interests of the local population, such as cheaper airfares.
Apparently the King was interested to hear why it is cheaper to fly from Palma to Germany, than to Ibiza, for example.
Both Matas and Rotger also briefed the King on the government and parliament's projects for the coming year, such as the reform of the regional statutes.

The King used the meeting to remind them both that such important policies, apart from having to be in the maximum interests of the local population, must also be developed with the maximum consensus of the various political parties and the public.

King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia will spend the best part of the next three weeks in Majorca. Next week Prime Minister Jose Luis Zapatero will fly in from Minorca for the first summer meeting at Marivent Palace.


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