By Humphrey Carter

TAX cuts for the young, disabled and large families purchasing their first home and other fiscal reductions on capital gains and donations are just some of the steps the Balearic government is going to introduce as part of an attempt to help the region fight the credit crunch and confront the short term economic difficulties of the recession.

Balearic president Francesc Antich outlined his 13-point plan to a special parliamentary meeting called to discuss the current economic climate and ways of easing the burden on the local community.

Antich also announced that a special cross-party committee is going to be created to try and reduce the local property mountain and reduce property prices. He also told parliament that there is going to be an “immediate” injection of cash into the public sector. Over 900 million euros is going to be pumped in to constructing new schools and education centres, health clinics, environmental projects such as new sewage treatment plants, the constructing of 5'000 council houses, the creating of an Innovation and Science Plan, improving public transport and providing aid to the ailing agricultural sector between now and the end of next year.

Antich is confident that the cultural, social, general interests and environmental projects will serve to get 1'000 people back into work.
The president claims that the Balearics can benefit from the current situation by cashing in on this opportunity to remodel the region's economic policies and activity.

He said that his government “will not be investing in large projects which will eat up even more land but invest in education, public transport, innovation and the environment, areas which will provide standing benefits for the population.” However, Antich admitted that to carry all of this out, funding is going to be needed from central government but he stressed that he is determined to thrash out a fair investment package from Madrid “so that people in the Balearics can enjoy the same quality of public services as the rest of Spain,” he added.

The president also stretched out his hand to the other parties, in particular the opposition conservative Partido Popular to actively participate in helping the Balearics beat the economic down turn.


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