By Humphrey Carter

PALMA
SPAIN'S Deputy Prime Minister, Maria Teresa Fernandez de la Vega, said in Palma yesterday that Spain will use its position as President of the European Union to raise the issue of better compensation for the union's insular and island regions in order “to end the sense of isolation people have in the Balearics and make them feel a part of Europe.” De la Vega made the pledge during an official visit to Palma for a meeting with the Balearics government to outline and discuss Spain's agenda during its six-month Presidency of the European Union.

De la Vega said that, in accordance with the newly signed Lisbon Treaty, the EU is obliged to work harder towards improving relations with insular regions and compensate them for the costs incurred. She praised the Balearics for its very pro-European stance which, she said, will help the region meet the new aims Europe has for the future.

The Deputy Prime Minister also told the Balearic government that the islands are well placed to benefit from the newly expanded and reinforced Mediterranean Union and suggested that the Balearics could take the lead in the new body. The Balearics and its tourist industry is also going to be high on the agenda at a meeting of European Union Tourism Ministers in April.

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