By Humphrey Carter

THE President of the Balearic coalition government Francesc Antich was yesterday forced to admit that the situation had become complicated for his government this week, but again ruled out calling a snap local election.

His PSOE Socialist Party-led coalition has this week been rocked by two fresh political scandals which this time involve his coalition member parties - the Majorca Unionist Party which also controls the Council of Majorca - and one of his top cabinet members - the Minister for Tourism Miguel Nadal who is also president of the Majorcan Unionist party.

And yesterday, the Council of Majorca's Director of Roads, Gonzalo Aguiar, was arrested, questioned and released with charges, as the fraud squad continues its investigation into the Manacor road widening project carried out by the UM controlled Council of Majorca during the last legislature. At least ten people, including two high ranking Council of Majorca civil servants have been arrested and questioned so far as part of Operation Road Toll.

Nadal has been implicated in a building scandal and, as we reported yesterday, faces charges of mishandling public funds, revealing political secrets and perverting the course of justice. He appears in court next month and has offered to resign.

However, Antich gave Nadal a vote of confidence on Monday night and yesterday, the Balearic leader was adamant that he is not going to go to the polls. “Things are rather complicated for various reasons right now,” he said. “But, we need to be calm, keep clear heads and be patient,” he added.
His coalition is also split over the controversial Campos golf course project. But, Antich said that a snap election is not the solution.
Antich himself received a vote of confidence from PSOE parties bosses in Madrid. Jose Blanco, the vice-president of the party said that there is “no urgency” for elections to be called here in the Balearics. But, Blanco did admit that, if the opposition centre right Partido Popular and the Majorca Unionist party called for a vote of no confidence, then elections would have to be considered.

In the meantime, Socialist parties bosses are confident that, even if relations with the Majorca Unionist party and the Bloc environmental party were severed, the Balearic government would be able to govern in a minority.

Antich held a meeting with Majorca Unionist party chiefs yesterday to discuss the current crisis.
Antich apparently said that, until any definite judicial decision is reached about Nadal, he will not ask the Tourism Minister to resign.
But, last night Nadal called leading members of the UM party and the chief executive together to explain why he has been implicated in the Can Domenge building scandal.

Party sources said that Nadal may leave his political future in the hands of his party having made it clear that he feels extremely uncomfortable about the situation.

As Antich said yesterday “these are difficult days for everybody.”