Palma.—Pimem, the Association of Small to Medium Sized Businesses said that reducing the travel discount for residents, which currently stands at 50 percent, “will isolate the islands even more and also reduce the region's competitiveness.” The association yesterday called on all the political parties in the Balearics to join forces and fight Madrid over a reduction of the travel discount.

Pimem stressed the severity of the situation and warned the government against allowing Madrid to run rough shod over the Balearics. “It's time that this government for once take a stand and stands up to Madrid and defends the interests of the Balearic public,” Pimem said in a statement. “So far, all the steps which have been taken by central government to try and combat the recession has merely led to even more small businesses closing and if Madrid reduces our travel discounts to save money, more small businesses will go to the wall,” the association added. “This is just another nail in the coffin of the Balearics. No one in central governments appears to respect the fact that the air and sea travel is vital for the Balearics and that puts the general public and businesses at a serious disadvantage. “So, in these moments of crisis, we need all the political and social bodies to unite in order to fight Madrid and block any attempt to slash the travel discounts which will lead to a reduction in the quality of living standards,” the association added.

However, it was revealed yesterday that the Balearic government has known this was coming since October but decided to keep it quiet which suggests they intend to do nothing.

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