STAFF REPORTER

BALEARIC President Francesc Antich was received by King Juan Carlos at the Almudaina palace in Palma yesterday for the first official meeting of the summer.

Don Juan Carlos arrived on Majorca on Thursday for his summer holidays which are traditionally spent at the Marivent Palace west of Palma, and Antich later confirmed that the King was in good form and glad to be back on the island.

Yesterday's meeting which took place in the morning lasted little more than 20 minutes. Subjects on the agenda of the talks were tourism and how the industry was faring in the Balearic Islands in the face of flight disruptions caused by Iceland's volcanic ash and more recently the threat of a Spanish air traffic controllers' strike. Antich was able to inform the king that the growth in the cruise ship market was partially compensating for a downturn in business this year caused by external factors.

There was also particular mention of the Playa de Palma reform project which over the next 10 years and at a cost of 3'000 million euros aims to eliminate between 40 and 60 percent of the current 43'000 tourist places and give the resort an overall facelift. Antich assured the King that the project will not inflict damage on the environment.

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