STAFF REPORTER

PALMA
BALEARIC President, Francesc Antich, has called a meeting for this coming Monday of all political groups in the regional Parliament to try and find a solution to the current constitutional crisis.

The dismissal, just over a week ago, of three Majorcan Unionist (UM) ministers from the coalition government has meant that Antich is now ruling in a minority and opposition parties are calling for an early election.

The national and regional Socialists (PSIB-PSOE) have opposed elections, saying that this would be an “unnecessarily drastic” solution. Led by Antich, the Socialists have said instead that now is a very opportune moment to reach “agreements” on how Balearic society can best be served in the thick of a crippling recession.

Antich said that although the main opposition party, the centre-right Partido Popular (PP) led by Jose Ramon Bouza had the “democratic” right to call for an end of the present Balearic government, he recommended that the party not take that course of action because, he claimed, they would be putting their own interests before those of the people of the Balearics. He asked instead that they consider a 13 point plan, including a Public Sector law, which Antich said was open to comment by other political parties. The newly proposed law has emerged as a measure to tighten loopholes in current legislation, thereby cracking down on the number of scandals involving misappropriation of public funds.

The President described the action plan as “a series of broad agreements over the future” (of the Balearic Islands). He said they were set out to promote responsibility, consensus, and maximum stability” for the region.

Antich claimed that apart from speaking to Jose Ramon Bouza, he had also been in touch with UM leader Josep Melia, and Josep Mayans, head of the Formentera Independent party (AIPF), and apparently no-one has said “they won't come.” Antich acknowledged that the Balearics is in a situation of “permanent constitutional instability”. He said that as no-one could ever benefit from the status quo, he preferred to present the 13-point “Pact against the crisis” which will reportedly offer a new social and economic model enabling the Islands to see its way out of the crisis. Broadly speaking, Antich's rescue package aims to speed up investment, improve competitivity in the tourist industry, develop a plan to generate employment, another to boost air transport to the region, and a separate strategy to ensure environmental sustainability.