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MABEL Cabrer, the Balearic minister of public works, housing and transport, had harsh words for Spanish Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, who told a political rally in Ibiza on Saturday that his government would not finance new roads which destroy beauty spots. While admitting that the new roads and motorways planned would “affect the environment,” she claimed that they were “positive” for residents.
She accused Zapatero of trying to win “points” with a demagogic speech.
She added that she was not surprised by his comments, as the socialists “have been repeating this speech since the start of the current legislature.” She also said that it was a posture which would eventually turn against them “because people are delighted with the new roads.” While expressing her rejection of speeches which detract from the road works and predict “cataclysms which don't happen”, she admitted that “all amenities destroy part of the territory,” although she was quick to point out that in the case of the Balearics “they have been built respecting the environment.” This happened in Majorca, when the socialists were opposed to work, but later people appreciated what the government had done, because they benefited from it she said, adding that the reaction of people will be the same in Ibiza once the roads are completed. Deputy leader of the Balearics, Rosa Estaras, said that the central government would have to pay for the roads already built and in the planning stages, covered by the roads agreement about to be signed, because they have the authorisation of the environment board. She also criticised Zapatero for turning down the chance for talks with Balearic leader Jaume Matas, while he found time to talk with the Ibizans who are opposed to the motorway there.