by Staff Reporter

PALMA
THE Balearic Parliament yesterday elected socialist Francesc Antich as its president thanks to the votes of his party, the PSOE, the left-wing coalition Bloc per Mallorca, Majorcan Union (UM) and Marian Suarez, the MP of the Mixed Group, representing Ibiza for Change.

The Partido Popular (PP) and the only independent member for Formentera, Josep Mayans, voted against him in a result which ended 30 votes for and 29 against.

The election marked the end of two days of debate in parliament, during which Antich outlined his programme and all the parties replied.
Antich expressed a wish to reach “consensus with a capital C” with all the political parties and offer“a pact to ensure the competivity of the Balearic economy.” Rosa Estaras, the PP spokeswoman who will be leader of the Opposition, criticised Antich, saying that he would “have no room to manoeuvre” and that his government would be “weak and unstable” as it is formed by six different parties -- the PSIB-PSOE, UM and the four parties of the Bloc (the Majorcan Socialist Party, United Left, Greens and Catalan Republican Left).

Estaras also underlined the electoral victory of the PP, with 47.71 per cent of the votes cast on the May 27 elections, compared to the “minority” which backed the PSOE which, in her opinion, only takes over the government thanks to the “curious transvestism” of the UM into a left wing party and the support of the Bloc.

Josep Mayans, the representative of the Mixed Group, and the only Independent member for Formentera, also reproached Antich for his lack of definite commitments to the small island in his investiture speech.

But Antich asserted his legitimacy to form a Balearic government based on the pact between his party, the Bloc and UM and asked the PP to be “self critical” and examine the decisions which have led to it ending up in the opposition.

Antich also told Mayans that he was willing “to listen to” the opinion of the Independents on the investments in Formentera, although he warned Mayans that he would also consult the island Council, which is run by a coalition formed by Gent per Formentera and the Socialist Party.

Biel Barcelo, the spokesman for the Bloc, guaranteed the “stability” of the agreement signed with the PSOE and UM which, he said, “will make use of the past experience” of the previous Progress Pact coalition government, to recover the government's credibility and face the challenges of obtaining fairer financing from the central government.

Marian Suarez of Ibiza for Change, asked Antich to try and repair the “moral wounds” and damage to the territory caused in Ibiza by the PP.
Bartomeu Vicens, spokesman of the UM, called on Antich to introduce controls on illegal immigration.

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