Palma.—The Partido Popular's Mateu Isern officially took over yesterday as Mayor of Palma from the Socialist coalition's Aina Calvo, claiming that he was going to use “common sense” to respond to the real needs of the citizens.

At his address following his investiture, Isern started by speaking in Catalan and finished in Castillian. He admitted that the next four years were not “going to be easy,” but had faith that a great deal was going to be achieved because he had every confidence “in this great city” and in “the people who gave it life”.

Isern said that even just a few months ago, he could not have dreamed of making such a speech to the Council and paid tribute to the work that Aina Calvo had contributed over the past four years.

A lead for tourism
Mateu Isern emphasised that there was one aspect of his policy that was going to distinguish the Partido Popular from other political colours and that is going to be his commitment to developments in tourism.

He wants Palma to become a tourist destination 365 days of the year and to achieve this end, high on his list of priorities is the completion of the Congress Palace at the eastern end of the Paseo Maritimo. Works on the building have recently ground to a halt as the constructors have not been paid for a year.

Another of the priorities of the new Mayor of Palma is the Playa de Palma development project which is largely being funded by Central Government. Moves to overhaul what has in some instances become outdated tourist infrastructure and services stalled under the Socialist government due to a public outcry against forced expropriation of property and lack of cash flow.

In terms of the economic crisis, Isern made it clear that he was not counting on “anyone from outside” to provide solutions. He said that he was not going to wait around for the green shoots of economic recovery to appear alone but rather set about creating employment. The new Mayor also claimed that he was going to make Palma adapt to the realities of a city where Catalan was just one of two major languages in use and that those who only spoke Castellano were not going to be sidelined.