STAFF REPORTER

PALMA
THE Balearic Government has taken out a loan of 70 million euros which it says is to pay for the debts left behind by the last PP-led government during the construction of the metro in Palma.

The metro is still not open to the public after floods forced its closure in October. But it continues to generate political controversy.
The Government says that the 70 million euro loan that it has taken out is to pay for work carried out by the last Government on the metro.
It does not take into account the cost of repairing the metro. The work is continuing and there is still no definite date for when it will reopen.
According to the Minister for Transport, Margarita Najera, the PP left behind a debt of 80 million euros on the metro. The original budget was 235 million but this subsequently rose to 315 million.

The Government is using 10 million from the treasury plus the 70 million bank loan to pay this debt. The loan is repayable over 20 years, which means that the taxpayer is going to be paying for the metro until 2029. “This complicates the financial situation in the autonomous community, but there's no other option left to us but to pay,” said Najera yesterday. She added that the amount of debt the PP had left behind meant the Government could not pay in any other way but than to take out a loan.

The PP's Fernando Rubio, on the other hand, has accused the Government of creating more debt than it received.
Najera yesterday dismissed that suggestion. “That isn't true, this gentleman has to learn how to read the numbers and, after reading them, understand what they say,” she said.