News desk
THE Palma city council's ambitious plan for a green belt running from Sa Faixina to the Camino de Jesus is in danger, because it now seems likely that central government funding will be cut.

The Centro Canino animal shelter was affected by the plan and forced to find new premises.
The central ministry of the environment had originally agreed to provide 2.8 million euros next year, but it will now pay only 325'000 euros.
Rodrigo de Santos, the councillor in charge of planning, said yesterday that if the ministry did not provide the funds, the project could not go ahead, but in that case, the council would “demand its fulfilment legally.” He added that the council will not be held responsible for the loss of the subsidy and said he hoped that the ministry would show some “sensitivity.” He was speaking after a meeting with Antonio Serrano, secretary general of planning and biodiversity, who was here to examine and “redirect” agreements made with the previous central government. Mayor Catalina Cirer was also at the meeting.

De Santos declined to comment on Serrano's posture when asked to increase the amount of 325'000 euros, although he did say that the secretary general arrived at the meeting “with his mind made up.” The councillor went on to say that if the 2.8 million subsidy is not forthcoming next year, then work on the green belt will have to be stopped.
He explained that since the agreement was signed in October 2003, the government had paid the 4.8 million euros corresponding to that year, justified with a certificate of work completed by the city council. A further 3.3 million euros was received this year, which will be justified later this month. The total amount the government had been expected to provide is 15 million euros, to be added to the 16 million the council has already spent on expropriations.


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