by Staff Reporter
ROSA Estarás, deputy leader of the Balearic government, is convinced that the PSOE (Spanish Socialist Workers' Party) has a strategy to make people believe that corruption is widespread in the Balearics. But she accuses the party of not offering any proof against the leaders of the Partido Popular (PP).

- What do you think of the recent statements by Spanish justice minister Juan Fernando López Aguilar, who compared corruption in Marbella to that in the Balearics.

- It is disgraceful that a minister should speak of corruption without presenting proof. Let him give names and surnames, otherwise, he should not say anything.

- Is this the socialist campaign which (Balearic leader) Jaume Matas predicted a few weeks ago?
Obviously. The socialists only speak about corruption in regions ruled by the PP, but they forget that Marbella is in Andalcuia, a region governed by the PSOE. It is sad that considering the third world conditions of our justice facilities, López Aguilar should make these statements. Let him invest in facilities, because the prosecutors have to go to Manacor in taxi because they have no vehicles. It's pitiful.

- Socialist deputy Antoni Dieguez accused Matas of extortion in connection with ex-Mayor of Calvia Margarita Nájera...
- It's the same old story. We are still waiting for Diéguez to present the proof he says he has. And I should like to point out that in order to accuse someone of a crime, you must prove it with evidence. Otherwise it is slander.

- Were you surprised that socialist leader Francesc Antich (former leader of the Balearics) did not take part in the debate on the home rule Statute?
- Antich is “missing.” It is incredible that a former leader, who is the Socialist candidate, should not intervene in a debate such as the one on the Statute. It was a big snub to him from his parliamentary group. Unfortunately, Antich is a “one day a week” candidate.” - Antich doesn't seem to bother you much as a political candidate?
- I respect Antich as a political opponent, but for the first time, the man in the street can compare the management of his coalition government and that of the PP. With Antich, the economy plummetted, fewer tourists came and there were continuous discrepencies within the government. Now the economy has taken off, tourism is generating jobs, and, moreover, we have built a school every two months. Three hospitals and new health centres will be opened, sewage farms have been built. Quite honestly, there is no comparison.

- Who will lose most if the Statute is not approved before the elections?
- Balearic society, undoubtedly, because it is a Statute to improve our status. What is at stake is 3'000 million euros for the Balearics, responsibility for a regional police force, fisheries, co-management of the airports and for the Council of Formentera to become a reality during the next legislature.

- Are you satisfied with the pact with the Majorcan Unionist (UM) party, despite the recent differences?
- The pact with UM has been very good for both sides. As Maria Antonia Munar (president of UM and the Council of Majorca) has said, this has been the legislature of getting things done.

- Will it be repeated in the future?
- We can't speak of the future. It is necessary to wait for the results and then the parties will decide, but the PP-UM pact has been very positive. I think that many of our projects could not have been carried out without the support of the Council of Majorca. That is evident.

- Do you think the Bloc (a new coalition) has a chance in the 2007 elections?
- I don't know, but I am convinced that Balearic society is, on the whole, conservative. I don't know if it will be able to understand all these new parties.

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