By Humphrey Carter

THREE of the governing left-wing coalition parties yesterday demanded that the Partido Popular assume its political responsibilities for its relationship with the former Mayor of Andratx and the Balearic government's planning director who were both given lengthy prison sentences after being found guilty of breaking planning laws by a Palma High Court judge on Monday.

The PSIB Balearic Socialist party, the UM Majorcan Unionists and the Bloc consider that the former PP Balearic Minister for Planning, Mabel Cabrer, should be made to explain exactly what was going on during her watch when the Director General for Planning, Jaume Massot “a person whom the PP confided in was knowingly taking incorrect decisions,” according to Antoni Dieguez, spokesperson for the PSIB, yesterday.

Dieguez said that the sentences, four years for the former Mayor Eugenio Hidalgo and three-and-a-half for Massot, demonstrate the severity of the crimes and he hopes they will act as a deterrent in the future.

He also claimed it is time for Jose Maria Rodriquez, the Secretary General of the Balearic branch of the Partido Popular, to also face up to his responsibilities as it was he who allegedly backed Hidalgo's candidacy for Mayor and “knew what was going on.” MP for the Bloc, Antoni Alorda, believes that the sentences will change the island's mentality towards planning laws.
However, he said that the Partido Popular needs to reflect on what has happened and seriously consider providing the people of the Balearics with an explanation. The Balearic environmental group GOB applauded the sentences which they described as a “wake up call” for all the local councils, in particular their planning departments.

The Andratx planning corruption case hearings will continue soon, there are 68 more charges to be heard.