Palma.—The Minister for Agriculture, Planning and Environment, Gabriel Company, told parliament that work on the Arta railway project will not resume because the project is not viable.

This sparked strong criticism from the opposition which accused the ruling Partido Popular of electoral fraud.
However, in these times of austerity, Company explained that another 110 million euros would be needed to complete the service and it would cost the government and the SFM Majorcan Railway Service some seven million euros per year to operate the service. “With the amount of construction work still left to be carried out at such a great cost, under the current economic climate it is just not viable to proceed with the project,” Company told MPs. Responding to accusations of electoral fraud, Company also reminded the opposition that the Arta rail link was not the idea of the PP but the previous left-wing coalition government.

Employment plan
Also during yesterday's weekly parliamentary session, the President of the Balearics, Jose Ramon Bauza, who was last week faced with reports of 169'000 members of the active population in the Balearics being out of work, announced that the government is drawing up a “back to work” programme.

Bauza said that the government is working closely with a host of community bodies and private organisations to devise a plan of action which will lead to new jobs being created.

But, with a record unemployment rate of 28.5 percent in the Balearics, the opposition were not convinced by Bauza's claims and slammed the jobless figures a disgrace and an embarrassment.