IF Palma is made the European Capital of Culture in 2016, it will mean the creation of 4'000 jobs in the region and will bring in an extra 800 million euros, forecast competition organisers yesterday.

But Palma is vying with another 15 cities in Spain for the crown and candidature promoter Hubert Georg Feil has criticised the lack of support from local government, particularly Palma City Council.

Feil claimed that the Council's failure to back the application to the hilt is not, as has been suggested, due to the economic crisis, but rather the fact the Spanish Prime Minister, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, favours Cordoba for the title.

Feil said nevertheless that there were “positive signs” of support from the Balearic Island Councils which would “leave the door open” for other areas of government to join forces in the future.

By October this year, the Spanish cities which have gone through to the final round of the City of Culture competition will be known and the winner announced in July of 2011 after the jurors make personal visits to the applicant cities. Feil explained that if Palma were to be selected, it would be an opportunity to pioneer a number of cultural projects such as a theatre designed especially for staging musicals, and to bring to life the “Forum Formentor” an international platform for unofficial debate by senior politicians and negotiators.

Each project is expected to cost between 40 and 60 million euros but a third of the expense would be provided jointly by Central Government, regional authorities and the European Commission.


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