Palma.—With a fresh wave of austerity measures looming as the Spanish government fights tooth and nail to avoid a full sovereign bail out, the opposition Socialists are worried that the centre right Partido Popular government will scrap the 50 percent travel discount for residents in the Balearics and the Canary Islands.

There are already rumours of pensions being frozen and the retirement age being increased, but Balearic Socialist MPs appear more concerned about the threat of residents losing their right to the 50 percent discount on air or sea travel between the islands and the mainland.

Yesterday, Balearic Socialist MP, Pablo Martin, said that his party is convinced that the government is preparing another wave of severe cuts and the future of the travel discount is seriously in doubt.

In Congress yesterday, the Socialists tabled a motion that that legislation be passed guaranteeing the travel discounts but the Partido Popular replied by claiming that everything depends on how much money the government has in its coffers as it struggles to keep Spain out of a bail-out.

The Socialists are also strongly opposed to the new laws which demand that residents, in particular Spanish residents, have to present documentation proving they are resident in the Balearics such as a copy of their “padron”, registration with their town council, as evidence that they are rate payers in the Balearics. The opposition said that this move has only served to “humiliate” members of the general public “who are being criminalised because of their simple right to travel.” Martin has called on the Balearic government to back his calls for legislation protecting the resident discounts and defend the legitimate rights of the Balearic people.

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