Palma.—On Monday, former Partido Popular Calvia Councillor Kate Mentink started her new job as the Assistant Director at the Ministry for General Presidential Services.

Her brief is quite simply to oversee the new government's European project and care for the needs of the European community, albeit residential, commercial or professional on the island.

Yesterday, as she continued to find her feet in her new office which is in the Centre Balears Europa opposite Parliament, Kate said that she can not wait to get started and in fact has a number of high level meetings already scheduled to tackle what she considers to be some of the burning issues facing European citizens.

Priorities “We have a meeting next week to lay out the priorities for this year but in the meantime, I am already in talks with the relevant people, including the central government delegate to the Balearics, Jose Maria Rodriguez, this morning about the reintroduction of the residency card. “Another issue which needs to be resolved is the complicated new red tape facing existing European business people in the Balearics and those looking to invest and set up here. And the latter, is also an important issue as we need private overseas investment right now. One of the responsibilities of the Ministry for General Presidential Services is overseas policy and looking after the Balearics' interests abroad, and that is also an area I will be involved in while working to strengthen relationships with our partners overseas. “The government pledged it would create a point of reference for the 120'000 odd European residents in the Balearics in its election manifesto and it has finally lived up to its word. “Obviously, both local and national governments have slightly more important problems to worry about at the moment, but at least, amongst all the economic problems the country is facing, it has not forgotten the European community and how important it is to the Balearics,” Kate said yesterday. “But, this week is all about getting to know my team, which is extremely talented and includes all the right kind of people such as lawyers and accountants.

Big commitment “I've also got to find my way around the government, who is who and who does what etc. so, it's all a new experience right now but one I am really looking forward to and am pleased that the government has created this point of reference for the European community within the structure of the government. “What that effectively means is that, in years to come, if I'm no longer in the job, someone else will be. This is a long term, full time commitment by the government to help the European community,” Kate explained. “The only problem at the moment, is that the speed of any changes and improvements, such as the reintroduction of the residency card which is merely an administrational issue, is going to be rather slow because of the huge problems local and national governments are having to over come, but with time, once we're up to speed, we will be announcing further plans and exactly how we will interact with the European community.”

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