TODAY we continue with our profile of the main candidates standing for election in Calvia. Today it is the turn of the Majorcan Unionist Party (Unio Mallorquina) and their candidate for Mayor, Isidre Cañellas. In Tuesday's newspaper, in keeping with Spanish tradition with the ruling party coming last, we will profile the Partido Popular and Mayor Carlos Delgado and councillor Kate Mentink.
Isidre Cañellas has spent the last four years governing Calvia in coalition with the Partido Popular. It hasn't exactly been a marriage made in heaven but the 47-year-old Calvia village born engineer remains upbeat.
Bulletin: Isn't it slightly odd that a Majorcan nationalist party is actively campaigning for the foreign vote? In Unio Mallorquina we believe that a person is from where he or she calls home. In this case it is Calvia. We all share something very valuable; we love Calvia and we want the best for the municipality. Our message is clear; we want to protect the environment, maintain the traditional Majorcan way of life (which we all love!) our food and our culture. We want everyone to feel at home here. A Majorcan is a person who feels and loves Majorca wherever he or she comes from. Bulletin: Has the non-Spanish community warmed to your message? On our electoral list of candidates includes a lady who was born in Newcastle and has lived in Son Ferrer for the last 23 years and two Germans. Our cultural heritage is further enhanced by the arrival of other people from other countries who want to get involved and protect and conserve the island. They have told me that there is a concern within the non-Spanish community that the island's culture and heritage and our countryside is being eroded. They would like to see this state of affairs stopped. Bulletin: Your party may be relatively small in Majorca but you have important partners? Yes, we are members of the International Liberal Federation and as you know a leading member of the Liberal Democrats from Britain was campaigning on our behalf in Majorca. Bulletin: what are the key points of your electoral manifesto? It is divided into three; more police, more winter tourism, and better council services in urban areas Bulletin: More police... I know a lot of our readers are concerned about crime...? If we are elected to power we will introduce what British residents know very well, the village policeman or woman, to ensure that every area of Calvia has its own officer. Also, we will introduce more night-time patrols and we will reduce the police response time to five minutes in all areas of the municipality. Bulletin: You mentioned winter tourism...everyone seems to speak about it but what will you do to encourage tourists to come here in the winter? We propose building an international convention centre in Magalluf which would be open year round catering for business conventions large and small. Also, we will allow hotels to build extensions so that they can offer heated swimming pools and spas. We also want to recover some of the markets which have been lost such as Scandinavian tourists who unfortunately have gone elsewhere during the winter. Also, new markets. We must be bold, why not try and attract U.S. tourists during the winter. After all, thousands go to mainland Spain so why couldn't they come here? Bulletin: The trouble at the moment is that most resorts in Calvia during the winter are like ghost towns... Yes, but if hotels remain open, nearby shops, bars and restaurants will do likewise. If tourists come here the hotels will remain open and others will follow. Bulletin: Have you discussed this with the tourist industry? Obviously, we have come to the conclusion that we must all work together. Recently I attended a highly successful workshop in Dublin which was attended not only by hoteliers but also Santa Ponsa bar owners. If we are united we can overcome many problems. Bulletin: You have been in power for four years, what are you most pleased about? It has been four years where we have not seen any major project but we have introduced legislation which helps Calvia residents. We have reduced council business tax by 20 percent, we have frozen the rates, we have introduced the Calvia Food Fair, council buildings have been improved, we have bought Galatzo, we have started the pedestrian walkway between Peguera and Capdella, and the Casal de Peguera has been improved. Bulletin: This is all very well but your relationship with the PP hasn't been a good one..? Our relationship with the Partido Popular has been good. It is with the Mayor (Carlos Delgado) that we have had a problem. He has never understood the meaning of governing in coalition. Bulletin: Are you prepared to pact again? Yes, we will pact with a party which we believe will be good for the municipality and who we can work with. Four years ago the socialists offered me the post of Mayor if I would pact with them but we decided to go with the Partido Popular. It will all depend on what the voters say next Sunday. Bulletin: Why do you think the Partido Popular want an overall majority? Because during these last four years we have thwarted their plans for some major projects such as the theme park which would have had 2'000 apartments as well and also the giant commercial centre planned for El Toro. If the PP or the PSOE for that matter want an overall majority it's because they don't want anyone to control them. Bulletin: And finally Sr. Canellas, the issue of language... Our language here is Catalan and language is important but so is the message. I learned English and I am sure that the non-Spanish community here can learn Catalan.
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