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THE Balearic Immigration and Co-operation Minister, Encarna Pastor, yesterday denied that the meetings with European Union residents her ministry has been organising in areas run by conservative Partido Popular councils are aimed at securing the foreign vote at the May local elections.

On Monday, the Balearic opposition socialists accused Pastor's ministry of organising the meetings to capture votes but yesterday the Immigration Minister hit back saying that the meetings have only been organised at the request of the relevant local mayor and that they are designed to inform European Union residents of what the Ministry for Immigration and its various departments can do for them and what services are available. However, the Socialists claim that the meetings are being used to remind EU residents about their right to vote and that, at one meeting in Son Servera, gifts in Partido Popular colored folders were apparently handed out. The Socialists also want to know why none of these meetings have been held in non PP-governed municipalities such as Arta or Alcudia where there is a large number of EU residents.