Palma.—The works committee for the Balearic nature Institute (Ibanat) yesterday claimed that there are “sufficient arguments” to support claims that the protection of the environment and the prevention of forest fires are not priorities for the Balearic government. Shop stewards said that the budget has been cut and the work force reduced, hence why the Balearics is now so dependent on aid from the mainland in the event of a major fire, like the one the island had two weeks ago. “The fact that 2'300 hectares of land was destroyed shows that something is not working” the committee said yesterday.
Last year, 650'000 euros was saved by reducing personnel and 85'500 euros less was spent on equipment and material than the year before.
And this year, Ibanat's total budget has been slashed by 13'2 percent to 10, 475'000 euros.
A number of watch towers have also been taken down and there are no longer any maintenance teams patrolling the natural parks.

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