Palma.—The President-elect of the Balearics, Jose Ramon Bauza, addressed Parliament yesterday during his investiture speech and pledged to use the next four years to lay the foundations for growth and prosperity for the next forty years.

Bauza, in his speech which lasted just 34 minutes, said that he intends to work to find a common ground and consensus with Central Government in the four key issues he considers are most important to the Balearics beginning with tourism, education, judicial security and planning.

The leader of the Partido Popular in the Balearics, who will be officially sworn in as President this Saturday evening, announced that he and his government plan on introducing a new way of doing politics:- “one based on values” and he warned that he will come down hard on anyone “caught with their hands in the till”.

Bauza said that the four key issues for the Balearics are all “matters of state” and that with the consensus of Central Government, “the next four years will lay the foundations of the next 40.” Central Government is currently run by the troubled Socialist Party but is likely to be taken over by the Partido Popular at the forthcoming general election which has to be held before March of next year.

But, Bauza is not only looking for consensus and cooperation from Central Government, he also wants much greater involvement from the private sector in remodelling the future of the Balearics.

Tourism is going to be paramount for the incoming centre right government and Bauza explained that, not only does he intend to seek private sector collaboration in reforming the local industry, he wants to review the current General Tourism Law and push ahead with renovating the Playa de Palma. He will also look at ways of reviving outdated resorts in areas such as Calvia, Manacor and Santanyi in Majorca.

However, the President-elect believes that his four main areas of concern all go hand-in-hand with reviving the fortunes of the Balearics, getting people back in to work and the economy motoring again.

He said that one of the first policies he intends to table before Parliament is the introduction of a new set of aids for macro businesses, similar to that already in the place in the Basque Country, which could create up to 15'000 new jobs.

That said, the high drop- out rate in schools is something Bauza is deeply concerned about and wants this addressed in order to prepare young people for the new jobs he intends to help create. “Education is an important vehicle for economic and social change,” Bauza told MPs “but we need to have an education policy based on freedom and quality. We need to make the maximum potential of the maternal linguistic capacities of each and every student and provide a better infrastructure for the education system,” he stressed.

What Bauza wants is for Balearic students to come out of school qualified in both regional official languages, Castellano and Catalan and one foreign language with the emphasis being on English as other autonomous PP governments have already done in other parts of the country.

Bauza is also going to be looking to both the public and private health sectors to jointly improve the quality of the health service in the Balearics.

And planning is also set for a major shake-up and this is one of the areas where what Bauza refers to as “judicial security” is going to over lap.
He explained that a clear and transparent set of planning laws will be introduced so that the construction industry is not allowed to “run away with itself like in the past - that's not a model I want for the future of the Balearics,” Bauza underlined.

These tighter planning laws will also enable the new government greater powers to protect the environment. Bauza also intends to draw up an aid programme for the region's struggling agricultural and livestock sectors.

But, all this is going to be carried out on a tight budget.
Austerity has very often been the PP and Bauza's campaign message and, as he proclaimed yesterday, “we intend to try and do everything for a euro instead of five.”