STAFF REPORTER
PALMA

AROUND 300 health workers demonstrated angrily yesterday against private parking charges which are levied at Palma's new general hospital at Son Espases.

Protests at 7.30am blocked access to the hospital for around 10 minutes and caused serious delays on the Palma ring road.
Doctor's Union President in the Balearic Islands, Miquel Lazaro said that it is “abusive” that hospital users and the 5'000 professional staff that work there are being charged 9 euros a day to park on public ground.

Lazaro warned that having to pay such high charges for parking is provoking increased tension amongst the public. “People are having to turn out their pockets to find the money for parking and are making their feelings known on the matter to hospital workers.” Lazaro claimed that “this doesn't happen at any other hospital in Spain” and alleged that the Balearic government can't have any real idea of the meaning of “crisis” if it was prepared to agree to such “extortionate” rates. He furthered that with public health workers having had to agree to a salary cut as part of Central Government austerity measures, they were now faced with losing an average of 44 euros a month “just to park in the place where they work.” Added to the discontent over charges is the fact that there are apparently not enough parking spaces. Health workers are claiming that double the amount of spaces are needed to cover the needs of the hospital.

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