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NEWS DESK LAST year witnessed a doubling in the number of forcible repossessions of private funds and property carried out by the Balearic government due to people being unable to pay fines or taxes.

Whilst 66'135 such cases were registered in 2007 valued at 7.3 million euros, last year there were 118'610 instances worth 14.1 million. In fines alone in 2008, the government claimed back 5.9 million euros - although the owed sums only totalled 4.8 million, the extra amount consisted of interest and charges made by the government for collection. Twenty percent extra is charged if the money has to be taken forcibly rather than voluntarily. People who were unable to pay in cash had property seized.

The regional Inland Revenue forcibly recovered 6.8 million euros from those who had failed to pay local vehicle or rubbish taxes in time. The net figure was 5.2 million, with the extra being made up of interest and charges. People who hadn't paid property or business tax to the local Town Hall were stung for a total of 1.2 million euros. Palma City Council reported that because of various recoveries, it was now 11.9 million euros better off.