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By Jason Moore

THE Balearic government claimed yesterday that the local economy could move out of recession at the end of this year.

The government believes that the islands are set for a good summer season as Britain and Germany move out of recession and a greater number of people decide to take a foreign holiday. British and German tour firms have reported an increase in bookings to the islands and also airlines have reserved a greater number of slots (take off and landing times) at the three local airports. However, the government did say yesterday that so far there are no green shoots and the Balearic economy is still in a fragile position. However, the Balearic government pointed to a small increase in consumer confidence as a sign that the economy could be pulling out of recession. The Balearic government and the senior representatives of the tourist industry will be heading to Berlin later this month for the ITB tourism trade fair. In Berlin they are hoping to hear that there has been an increase in bookings to the island.

“This summer season will be a make or break time for the local economy, hopefully if the present forecasts are confirmed we will be able to pull out of the economic crisis,” said one local hotelier yesterday.

However, there are now almost 100'000 people without a job in the Balearics and it could take years until the local economy returns to normal again.