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L EADER of the Balearic government, Jaume Matas, was on the offensive yesterday, speaking at a “Young Businessmen in Tourism” association meeting in Palma, of the “black hand” that governed the Balearics in the years prior to the Partido Popular coming to power. Matas was making direct reference to the Socialist coalition that held power in the region for four years prior to his own centre-right party sweeping to power in the elections of May last year. He claimed that the tourist industry had been deeply damaged through gross mismanagement by the Socialists and that the only positive result of their disastrous policies was that they served as an example of “how not to govern”. The Balearic leader said that the challenge facing the Islands in terms of re-asserting its position as a top holiday destination, is to develop strategy in the face of emerging competition within the European Union, and to remember that tourists can be excellent judges of quality/price ratio.