Palma.—Austerity measures taken by the new regional government have meant the loss of around 700 jobs in the Administration and dependent public companies, Minister Simó Gornés confirmed yesterday to Socialist MP ourdes Aguiló during Parliamentary question time.

Around 400 of the job losses, said Gornés, are in public companies contracted to work for the regional government. It is expected that this figure will increase over the coming year as forecasts are for cuts to bite even further into public sector employment.

Further analysis of the austerity measures showed that the cuts of jobs in Public Administration had mostly been of temporary or “stand-in” positions.
Justifying the government's position yesterday, Gornés said that in some cases, the contracts of these temporary workers had in any event come to an end so that the job loss could not strictly be categorised as the elimination of a permanent government post.

Minister said that many of the stand-in staff had been taken on to help out at a time when there were intense periods of activity in government, such as the post regional election period in May last year.

He confirmed however, that 85 jobs had been cut in the Education department and another 26 in the Balearic Job Centre Service (SOIB).Meanwhile the Tourism Ministry has lost three of its staff and the government's Health department three.

The cuts in Public Administration and dependent public company jobs were undertaken by the new PP overnment almost as soon as it came to power. One of the most controversial moves, and one that has had fierce union opposition, is the PP's decision to do away with nearly 90 positions which had been held by union representatives with official posts. This meant that part of the working day was devoted to union business. The PP laim that this move alone has enabled them to save 3.1 million euros a year.