News desk THE Balearic and Canary Island governments agreed yesterday to set up a “strategic alliance” in the form of a consortium, to back their joint claims to central government and to analyse the problems derived from insularity.

This was announced at the end of the two day summit meeting of the leaders and ministers of both regional governments. Balearic leader Jaume Matas said that the “strategic alliance” would focus on collaboration in tourism, as “the central government should see the tourist trade as a key element for generating wealth.” He added that the two island regions shared concern for the “sun and sand” model of tourism, and the alliance would analyse the problems presented by the new habits of tourists and seek joint solutions to find a model of tourism which offers stability.

Matas stressed that the Balearics and Canaries, together with the North African enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla, will make a common front to press the central government to accept the Balearic offer to pay the cost of increasing travel discounts to 50 percent in January, with the money being repaid at a later date.

They will also demand joint management of the island airports and will collaborate in other matters such as finance.