STAFF REPORTER

PALMA
THE Dean of the Balearic College of Architects (COAIB) has said the construction sector is going through the worst crisis of the last 20 years.
Luis Antonio Corral was speaking as new figures show that the number of building permits issued for residential housing in the Balearics fell by almost 60 percent between January and May compared to the previous year.

The worst figures were in Ibiza and Formentera where there has been a decrease of 80 percent during the first five months of the year compared to the same period in 2006.

In Minorca, 70 percent less permits were issued compared to 2006, while in Majorca the figure was 50 percent.
In terms of square metres constructed, there has been a fall of 43.8 percent in the islands as a whole.
In Ibiza and Formentera this figure is 65 percent, Minorca and Majorca have seen decreases of 42 percent and 40 percent respectively.
The dean of the COAIB said that the “role of the Administration in these moments is vital”.
He added that the different Governments “could not wait to see what happened, the response must be immediate”.
Corral added that the Government must act to begin a programme of public works, especially in the areas of social housing and urban regeneration.
The President of the Council of the Spanish Colleges of Architects, Carlos Hernandez, said that the decrease in the amount of new homes being built in Spain was tremendous.

Hernandez said that the profession would like to see many new and speedy measures introduced in order to alleviate the crisis.
The Council of the Spanish Colleges of Architects is currently meeting in Palma to debate some of the principal challenges facing the profession in the coming years. Among the issues that are being discussed are quality in housing, security and sustainability. The 24 members of the Congress are to meet the Balearic President, Francesc Antich, at 12pm today.

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