Palma.—The newly sworn in centre right Partido Popular President of the Balearics, Jose Ramon Bauza, said yesterday that the public spending tap needs to be “turned off”.

He made the comments just days after the government began auditing the books and it would appear that the financial situation the new administration has been left in, is worse than initially expected.

Austerity was the buzz work of the PP's campaign but even tougher cuts may have to be introduced to balance the books and get the Balearics' accounts back in the black.

The battle over debt has already broken out in Palma City Council with it apparently being double the 200 million euros it was understood to be.
And, the regional government is facing similar financial complications.
For example, there is 27 million euros outstanding on the city's new convention centre, hence why workers have been ordered to down tools by the construction company.

At the moment, the project has come to a grinding halt.
Local transport companies are owed 4.4 million euros and the agencies responsible for transferring patients to the mainland are waiting to be paid the 1.1 million euros the previous government owed them. Yesterday, Bauza said that it is unacceptable for families to be mad to tighten their belts and reduce their spending if the government does not set an example.

Pay rise?
Bauza also revealed that the information he has received so far from the government's supplies, contractors and civil servants “don't match the real state of the accounts” which the previous government left behind. “There are things which quite simply don't add up,” the President said.
However, he was also keen to stress that there is no need for those with outstanding bills to worry.
He explained that as soon as the government has audited all the accounts and examined the books, a special payment plan will be drawn up to ensure that all outstanding bills are paid. “Having to face up to the recession is one thing but have outstanding bills with the local administration is another situation altogether and one these businesses can well do without,” Bauza said.

Ironically, Bauza yesterday announced that the top advisors to the government will get pay rises of between eight and 21 percent.
Granted, the size of the cabinet has been slashed and the number of ministries reduced meaning there will be less senior advisors, but the announcement of a pay increase does not quite sit comfortably with his austerity plans.


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