Staff Reporter
THE Balearic government will not alter its budget for highway building even though the central government Public Works ministry has wiped out 40 of the 48 million euros which it was to invest in the Balearics in 2005.

The regional government, led by Jaume Matas, will go ahead and include the 48 million in its budget and assign it as funds owed to the Balearics by central government.

Regional vice-president, Rosa Estaras, said yesterday: “The Balearic government is not going to alter its highway budget because it was a figure already approved and committed to by central government during the previous term of office”.

The Balearic government is now waiting to see if there are any amendments made whilst the State budget is being reviewed by Parliament.
Estaras has not discounted the possibility that the new Socialist government in Madrid may have “forgotten” the figure that their predecessors originally promised the Balearics for highway building. Her comment made reference to a recent statement by Francesc Antich, leader of the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE) in the Balearics, who had purported that Spain's prime minister, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, had “forgotten” the fact that subsidies for airfares for Balearic residents to and from the mainland, were to increase to 38 percent.

However the issue of financing is resolved, the vice-president reiterated the regional government's commitment to continue with all the projects which were included in the agreement originally signed with central government under the leadership of the previous prime minister, Jose Maria Aznar.

Although Estaras believed that the current impasse could be overcome, she confirmed that the regional government would ensure that the legality of the original agreement is respected, even if it means resorting to a tribunal.

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