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STAFF REPORTER

PALMA
THE Partido Popular (PP) in the Balearics is the only party which can deliver on its election programme from start to finish after the local elections on May 22, Jose Ramon Bauza, the regional PP President and candidate for the presidency of the Balearics said yesterday.

Bauza was speaking at a Partido Popular election conference being held in Palma. He claimed that by way of contrast, the other parties in the Balearics are all talk about coalitions which have split and failed to deliver. “People will criticise me for what I am saying,“ Bauza said “but it's the truth.” “Once the ‘yet-to-be-decided' manifestos of these parties without direction come off the press, they are doomed to failure,” added Bauza, addressing the conference prior to a speech by national Partido Popular leader Mariano Rajoy.

But Bauza said that were he to win the presidency of the Balearics and its current Socialist President Francesc Antich to remain as leader of the opposition, it would be to the benefit of the region for the two men to reach an agreement over how to secure stability in the face of the economic crisis.

Bauza said it would not be the first time that he has offered a hand of support to Antich. When the current President's Socialist-led coalition has faced constitutional crises during the present Balearic government, Bauza had put his party at the disposal of Antich in order to ensure stable government for the region. On each occasion, according to Bauza, Antich has declined assistance saying that there were always other “coalition alternatives” he could turn to. However, Bauza said that now Antich has changed his ideas and is apparently well disposed to collaborate with the Partido Popular. “However, for us, the Partido Popular, winning an election isn't the main aim,” said Bauza. “What we need to do is get close to people's needs and restore confidence.” Bauza said he is looking forward to the elections and the chance to rescue the Balearics from record unemployment and closing businesses. “We are not just a region of numbers,” he said referring to the 120'000 people out of work in the region. “Each one on the list is a person with rights.” Despite the disheartening situation the people of the Balearics find themselves in at the moment, said Bauza, it's important to be optimistic about the future. “We are here to serve and restore dignity to the institution of politics.” Bauza said that his aim was not simply to remove Antich from power but rather to offer an alternative form of government in which people felt “freer and more secure.” And he proclaimed that Spain as a whole wants change and that it is going to begin here in the Balearics.