STAFF REPORTER

PALMA
THE economic crisis could provoke an increase in crime this autumn, according to the opposition Partido Popular (PP).
Catalina Soler said that, as well as the 60'000 estimated to be unemployed this winter, one had to look at a number of other worrying statistics, such as the 60 percent decrease in turnover in some businesses on the island - principally jewellers' and souvenir shops - and the 15 percent fall reported in the restaurant sector.

By way of anecdote, Soler said that “for the first time in the Balearics we are seeing groups of tourists buying a bottle of water or a soft drink and sharing it between two or three people”.

Soler said that this situation “could affect citizen safety” and decried the fact that the Spanish Minister for the Interior, Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba's, response to requests to reform the way in which the autonomous communities are financed was “negative”. “When there's more unemployment, there's more crime,” stated Soler. She also called on the Balearic Minister for the Interior, Maria Angeles Leciñena to say what she was going to do once the summer jobs were gone.

Soler called on the Balearic Government to furnish official data about the state of the economy.
She also asked the Balearic Minister for Commerce, Industry and Energy, Francesca Vives, to release the figures relating to all-inclusive package holidays and to clear up whether these types of holidays were being affected by the problems in the economy.

CUTTING STAYS

“There isn't a large drop in tourists, but there has been a cut in the amount of time they're staying and the money that they're spending,” she said.
Soler further criticised the Balearic President, Francesc Antich, for delaying his appearance in Parliament to talk about the economic situation until next July 29. She said the “only thing that he is doing is being photographed and Balearic families can't live off that”.

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