Palma.— On the orders of the Balearic High Court, the regional government finds itself now having to pay compensation to private individuals, construction companies and other organisations after legal decisions have been made in cases which have sometimes dated back decades.

In order to meet these commitments, the government is therefore holding back 100 million euros of its budget to honour such payments which have originated at the time of Balearic Executives led by former regional Presidents such as Jaume Matas, Francesc Antich and even Gabriel Cañellas.

The majority of Court rulings relate to cases of expropriation where the government enforced a sale of private land to make way for motorway construction in the era of Jaume Matas; similar compulsory purchase for the building of the train from Palma to Inca, Sa Pobla and Manacor; and the payment of compensation to constructors who were not able to go ahead with planned building programmes because the government introduced land protection orders at the last minute.

An instance of this last case dates back 30 years when development was authorised for the virgin beach of Es Trenc in the municipality of Campos. Nearly 30 years after the project was stopped by the then President Gabriel Cañellas, a court has ordered that the constructor be compensated to the tune of one million euros.

From a budgetary standpoint the present Balearic government has found itself unprepared to confront such major debts dating from previous administrations.

Even in 2012, the government acknowledges that there are 842 million euros outstanding to local authority goods and services suppliers. Part of this debt, a government spokesman confirmed yesterday, originated in former regional governments, calculated to the tune of 100 million euros.

The decision to set aside this “Emergency funding” has been taken to help make sure that the present public deficit doesn't increase any further, explained the spokesman.

On top of having to settle debts dating from a previous generation, the Balearic government is now also having to deal with the fact that Central Government has drastically reduced the subsidies it is prepared to make available for the regions to implement the so-called Dependency Law.

This legislation essentially means that the government is committed by law to provide food, shelter and care for those who are unable physically and economically to look after themselves. In the Balearics, this relates largely to the elderly and infirm.

Because of the withdrawal of financial help from Madrid, the regional government will now have to largely assume its responsibilities with regard to the Dependency Law with its own funding. Calculations are that a further 100 million euros will be needed for the purpose this year alone.

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