Palma.—The Balearic President, Jose Ramon Bauza, went head to head with the parliamentary spokesperson for the opposition PSOE Socialist Party, Francina Armengol yesterday over the record level of unemployment in the Balearics.

Armengol began the exchange by accusing Bauza's Partido Popular of having done nothing to stall the runaway rate of unemployment and said that the PP needs to change its politics “before it sinks the Balearics.” Hit back
Bauza hit back claiming that the local government will take action as soon as the Socialists “stop meddling” in government.
But Armengol was not taking any flak and blamed the Balearic government and the new PP administration in Madrid for the local and national rise in unemployment. “One gets the impression that before you came to power last May, there was not a crisis and once you all realised there was, you blamed it on us instead of taking action to try and solve the problems,” she said. “We've got 98'927 people out of work, 14'000 jobs have been destroyed over the past year and, what is even more concerning, is that 57'000 are not receiving any financial benefit,” Armengol added.

Bauza agreed and admitted that he is just as worried about the situation as Armengol - only last week they met to discuss tackling the problem together. “But the figures speak for themselves, we, as a government, are not going to try and kid anyone. But we can't produce miracles. Just because the Partido Popular is back in power does not mean everything is going to be immediately solved. “We have a strict policy on unemployment, but it is going to take time to solve this crisis,” Bauza told Armengol and parliament. “It's not just unemployment, we've got to reduce our rate of public spending, we've already started laying off civil servants, something you (the Socialists) did not have the back bone to do,” the President added.

The PSM-IV-ExM nationalist coalition accused Bauza of lacking ideas but the President replied by claiming he and his government have a set of clear ideas, unlike the nationalists did when they were part of the coalition which collapsed and failed at the last local elections.