STAFF REPORTER

THE Partido Popular (PP) and Majorcan Unionist (UM) opposition parties on Palma City Council voiced criticism yesterday of the Mayor, Aina Calvo, for not having presented the 2011 budget prior to year end as is demanded by law.

PP spokesman, Julio Martinez, said that it was the first time in the history of the City Council that a governing Mayor had been upbraided for what he described as “such a serious offence.” Martinez accused the Mayor of slyly avoiding a public debate on the budget figures for this year which was against established legislation.

Because of lack of consensus in the City Council about the allocation of funds for 2011, the budget for 2010 was eventually rolled over into this year but the opposition are saying that regardless of whether figures were agreed or not, the Socialist coalition's spending plans should legally have been debated with the rest of the Council and residents' associations prior to the end of last year.

Tax Councillor, Andreu Alcover, defended the ruling party by saying that a budget programme had indeed been made available for scrutiny, both to the media and other political groups and that the Council had in fact therefore fulfilled the legal requirement. “What's the point,” said Alcover, “of debating a budget which you, the opposition, are fully aware you will disagree with?” “If you believe that we have broken the law, then you officially have to denounce us for it,” he challenged.
But Martinez said that a council which doesn't want to present its spending programme, or debate it, must have “technical reasons” for not doing so.

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