Palma.—Alvaro Gijon, who is also the Councillor for Tourism on the incoming Partido Popular (PP) ruling team, said that although he had been delighted to inherit the star project of the hotel and conference complex from Palma's outgoing Mayor Aina Calvo, there had been no indication that the construction work could threaten to grind to a halt because of the Balearic government's unpaid bills to the tune of 27 million euros.

Councillor Gijon said that he now had no choice but to be an “optimist” over planning the conclusion and opening of the Congress Palace, after yesterday's decision by construction company Acciona to stop work on the site. According to Gijon, the payment of the outstanding money will be the first matter that the incoming council and the new Partido Popular Balearic government will look at. Both authorities will join forces, he said, to support the Congress Palace - a tourist attraction of major importance to both the city and the region as a whole.

But Gijon said that the rescue mission cannot be launched until the new Balearic President, Jose Ramon Bauza, officially takes office on 18th June.
The fact that the works have been halted, he alleged, means that they were of little interest to the outgoing Socialist city council. “Neither did the Balearic government react appropriately,” insisted Gijon who said that Acciona have been waiting a year now for their money.

He claimed that Central Government had provided 20 of the 27 million euros needed to be paid as part of the statutory budgets. “It's outrageous that this money hasn't been paid already,” said Gijon, claiming there were other tourism projects which the Socialists had abandoned.