Palma.—A week ago, in an attempt to retain his possessions in Palma, the former President of the Balearics and Spanish Minister for the Environment, Jaume Matas, declared himself bankrupt before a judge in Madrid.

However, yesterday evening, the judge, who is said to be confused because Matas is registered as living in Palma, had yet to reach a decision and with Matas's three Palma properties due to go up for auction first thing this morning to cover his debt to the Bank of Valencia, the clock was ticking last night.

Matas is heavily implicated in the Palma Arena corruption case which has already had one hearing and that resulted in a six year jail sentence for the former Balearic President.

When Matas became an official suspect in the case, bail was set at just over three million euros and using his Palma properties, including his so-called “palacete” listed building as collateral, asked for a loan of 3'041'364 euros from the Bank of Valencia.

However, the bank has since called in its loan and Matas has been unable to pay it back - which is why the bank is putting the properties up for auction.

Last month, the judge presiding over the Palma Arena case and who initially set bail at three million, reduced it to 500'000, so 2.5 million euros was returned by the judge to the Bank of Valencia.

Nevertheless, the bank wants to go ahead with the auction because Matas still owes the bank half a million euros plus interest, which takes the total still outstanding to nearly a million.

So, in an attempt to have the auction postponed, Matas played, what some claim was his last card last week by claiming bankruptcy.
If he succeeds then he will retain his properties and the judge in Madrid will negotiate a repayment programme with the Bank of Valencia.
Should Matas's strategy fail, then he faces losing everything this morning with a host of more hearings into why building the Palma Arena Velodrome went twice over budget.


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