THE Balearic Islands will stand to lose 157 million euros between 2007 and 2013, if European Commission plans for redistribution of aid funds go ahead.

In the light of this possibility, the Balearic government yesterday asked central government to secure sufficient funding for the region through negotiation in Brussels.

Lluis Ramis de Ayreflor, Balearic minister for Economy and Tax, explained the alternative conditions of European Union financing in view of member States now totalling 27.

The Commission has proposed reducing the number of circumstances under which members become eligible for aid. If the motion goes forward, the Balearics within the seven-year period, will receive some 77.2 million euros in direct aid which is 157.6 million less than under present policy.

Ramis de Ayreflor highlighted the “concern” of the regional government and the necessity for the central Administration in Madrid to discuss the possible effects of the European funding slash with the country's self-governing Communities.

The minister pointed to the special pressures to which the Balearics are subject, namely immigration and extra expense by virtue of the region being cut off from the mainland.

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