HAULIERS are warning that if the problems affecting the transport sector are not addressed, important infrastructural projects in the Balearics could be affected.

Joan Bufi, the President of the Association of Public Service Hauliers, yesterday said that there had already been job losses owing to the 30 percent rise in the cost of the fuel.

He said the situation could worsen in the coming months “if serious measures weren't carried out”.
Bufi said that the President of the Island Council of Ibiza and Formentera, Xico Tarres, had promised to intercede on behalf of the transport companies.

He added that it was too early to see what effect central Government's initiatives were having on alleviating the problems within the sector. He said that if aid was not forthcoming then about a dozen companies in Ibiza would be forced to close, resulting in the loss of many jobs.

The association says that the rise in the cost of fuel and the decrease in demand is obliging companies to reduce their workforces. In Ibiza and Formentera, the situation is particularly bad because the prices are more expensive than in other parts of the state.

Meanwhile, Vicenc Tur, the head of the economic department in the main employers' association in the Balearics, CAEB, has warned that the slowdown will get worse before it gets better.

He said the economic situation was complicated as a consequence of the credit crunch and the rise in the price of fuel, circumstances that are affecting both domestic consumption and economic investment.

Tur said that there was no sign of an immediate end to the slowdown as a lowering in the price of fuel or interest rates could not be expected.
However, Tur said that the Balearic economy was in a better position than those in other parts of Spain because the tourist industry was holding up reasonably well.

The Director of the Centre for Economic Research, Antoni Riera, has pointed out that the Balearics is not going through an economic crisis as it is continuing to grow, though at a lower rate.