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STAFF REPORTER MANACOR Town Council, and in particular, the Mayor - Antoni Pastor - are less than pleased about an announcement from the regional Transport Minister, Gabriel Vicens that the government is backing an overground train route through the town as part of the Majorcan Railway Services' extension to Arta.

All political parties on the Council are professing to be taken aback by the ministerial decision and point out that there is a cross-party agreement which rejected precisely the route for the new tram-style train which the government is proposing.

Antoni Pastor said yesterday that no-one was expecting that the Transport ministry would opt for the train route to go down Paseo Ferrocarril in the centre of Manacor, and that the decision should be one taken by the local Council, not imposed from outside. Pastor added that although he was not against future plans for the train extension in principle, he would like to know how Gabriel Vicens would react if ministers in Madrid came to Majorca to tell him just where he should put the new railway track.

Partido Popular (PP) members on Manacor Town Council said they felt “disappointed” that they were not being allowed to intervene directly in the decision about the track location, with spokesman Bernat Amer saying yesterday: “It (the decision) seems already to have been taken.” Even when he went on to say that his party should have been consulted, Amer confessed to believing that the route the ministry is proposing is “not the best one”.

Similarly, for Catalina Julve, spokesperson for a Majorcan Unionist coalition, “it is worrying that the train will be running across the very heart of the town.” Not everyone was against the idea though ... Sebastia Gaya, representing the Socialist and United Left coalition said that he had consulted with the majority of traders who would be affected by the project, and claimed that when he told them just what was going to happen, there were no serious protests.