Palma.—The King, Don Juan Carlos, met for talks with key government figures in the Balearics yesterday, focusing his concern on how the region is going to emerge from the economic crisis.

Balearic Parliamentary leader Pere Rotger said after his meeting with Don Juan Carlos at the Almudaina Palace in Palma that although the monarch had confidence in the fact that Spain - as a great nation - would survive the crisis, he was fully aware that it was “not going to be easy”.

The King had reportedly urged a policy of unity amongst politicians, citizens and businesses to tackle what has become a “much longer” period of recession than anticipated.

Also holding talks with the monarch yesterday was Balearic President José Ramón Bauzà. At the end of their meeting at the Palace, Bauzá said that the King, as the first Spaniard of the land, had shown genuine concern for the decisions that are being made at a national and regional level to find a way out of the crisis. The President updated the King on reforms and projects in the offing for renewing economic growth.

Bauzá said that given the busy schedule of the Spanish royal family, he felt that it was “an honour and privilege” that they should continue to come to the Balearics for their summer holidays, a tradition started at the end of the 1970s. Bauzá explained that the time spent on Majorca was going to be a little less this year because of commitment to attend part of the Olympic Games being held in London.

Both Rotger and Bauzá said that the King appeared to be in excellent physical health and that his enthusiasm and intellect remained undimmed.
A third meeting on the King's agenda yesterday was with the Mayor of Palma, Mateu Isern.
The Mayor had reassured the monarch that everything possible was being done to kick start the Palma Congress Palace project, currently on hold, as a major contribution to all-year-round tourism - particularly business tourism.

The Mayor explained to the King that as opposed to one management contract being put out to public tender for the conference centre and hotel, it may be split up into two. “Once we know who is to manage the infrastructure, we can then start to see a return on our investment,” said the Mayor. “There are already between 40'000 and 50'000 requests to hold a conference at the centre.”

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