No more autopsies

THE central ministry of justice has ruled that from February 1, any autopsies which would have been performed in Manacor or Inca (which have their own courts) must be performed in Palma. The move has not been to the liking of the Mayors of the districts involved, nor the funeral parlours. The Mayors of Manacor and Inca, Antoni Pastor and Pere Rotger, are due to meet today to discuss means of blocking the move. The funeral parlours say that their services will cost more if autopsies can only be held in Palma because of increased transport costs. Pastor complained that they had not been informed directly and did not know what the consequences of the change would be. Rotger said that “as Mayors, we have to look after the interests of our citizens, and it is obvious that this measure will cause greater inconvenience.” Onofre Garcia, a spokesman for the Balearic funeral parlours, said that the move would mean an increase in transport costs of 200 to 500 euros. He also said that it meant funerals would be delayed for another three days. But a spokesman for the ministry said that forensic doctors had been asking for the service to be centralised for some time.

Theatre auctioned

THE town council plans to auction the old theatre in order to pay off its debts as it is strapped for cash. The conditions of sale were approved at the last plenary session, despite the criticism of the opposition who said that the town's heritage should not be put on sale. The theatre is in Calle Ses Roques and has a starting price of 316'995 euros. It is in a state of ruin and is used as a storeroom by the municipal brigade. Independent councillor Margalida Tous said that the opposition had not been shown details of the plans to solve the council's financial situation, and called for a serious approach to the matter. But councillor Miquel Sebastia, in charge of the finance department, defended the move. “We have inherited a chaotic financial situation and we are trying to fix it.” Aid denied

THE Balearic ministry of agriculture has turned down request for aid to pay farmers who had not insured their crops for damage caused by a hail storm in November. Most of the farms in the area are small operations and as a result, very few of them have the insurance cover demanded by the government. This is the first time that the ministry has applied its new plan of subsidies which refuses aid for crops that have not been insured.

Mine to be covered

THE former lignite mine of Son Odre in Biniamar will be declared of general interest by the town council, so that the current owner can fill it in and restore the landscape. The move will have to be approved by the Council of Majorca, which has already granted provisional permission to fill in the mine with rubble. The mine will later be covered with fertile soil. The open face mine was abandoned 30 years ago.

New nursery school

THE town council is studying plans to change the use of the Hotel Carotti, so that the first municipal nursery school for under three year olds can be built there. Mayor Joan Cerdà confirmed that if all the political parties on the council agree, it will drop plans to build a day centre in the hotel, and will build the nursery school instead. If no agreement is reached, the Mayor confirmed that he still has a second option, to build a nursery school on a plot of land currently used as a car park, besides the sports stadium. “We cannot wait any longer, as the nursery school is badly needed,” he said. The owners of the private nursery school Vida in the port recently announced that it was going to close. The Mayor said “we have had talks with the owners to see if we could rent it and continue to run it until we have a new school.” Too big an impact

THE PSM (Majorcan Socialist Party) in Son Servera has criticised work being carried out in the port of Cala Bona by the Balearic public works ministry, alleging that it has an adverse affect on the environment and is unnecessary.