LLUIS Ramis de Ayreflor, the Balearic minister of finance, said yesterday that a report on the economy produced by Hispalink shows that it is “on the right road”, even though it predicts the lowest growth in Spain for the region this year. Ramis based his claims on the fact that the 2.3 per cent growth in the gross domestic product is triple that of 2003 when the Partido Popular (PP) took over the reins of the government from the left wing coalition. However, he added that his department's predictions are slightly more optimistic than the Hispalink report, compiled by economists from 18 Spanish universities. He expects the gross domestic product to grow by 2.5 per cent this year, adding that he is convinced that the tourist sector will show significant growth this year. For next year, the Hispalink report predicts a growth of two per cent which Ramis says is based on expectations in tourism which are too low, pointing out that tourism represents 80 per cent of the Balearic economy. Socialist leader Francesc Antich, however, disagreed with his conclusions, and accused the government of “not doing its homework” on the economy.
He claimed that the Hispalink report “confirms that the Balearic government is doing nothing for the economy” and is relying too much on construction as a driving force. This is seeking a short term solution and only ends up by destroying the landscape, he said yesterday.
What the government should be doing, he said, is seeking a positive development in the medium and long term, with a diversified offer of high quality in the tourism field. He underlined the fact that the report puts the Balearics at the bottom of the list for growth.