STAFF REPORTER

MADRID
A CENTRAL government cabinet meeting held yesterday in Madrid approved the setting up of a Commission on Majorca for the express purpose of overseeing the integral reform of the Playa de Palma and, it is “probable” said a cabinet spokesman, that responsibility for the project will be given to Margarita Najera (pictured), currently the Balearic government's Minister for Employment and Training.

Spain's Deputy Prime Minister, Maria Teresa Fernandez de la Vega confirmed yesterday that it “should be the Commission itself which chooses its leader - central government need not make a ruling on the issue.” “We believe, however,” added Fernandez de la Vega that Margarita Najera is the person for the job because it would seem that the people that go to make up the Commission are in agreement over her leadership. The vice-president highlighted the fact that the reform of the Playa de Palma is of the utmost importance not just for the future of tourism in the Balearic Islands, but also for the whole of the industry in Spain. It is absolutely key, she said, that this project, and others similar to it elsewhere in the country are flagship success models at all levels - local, national and international. The vice-president asserted that such developments need to integrate quality with competitivity and sustainability in order to rise to the challenges posed to the tourist industry this century by globalisation and climate change. “And so it is,” Fernandez de la Vega concluded, “that the powers of the Playa de Palma Reform Commission invested in it by central government should be exercised by the person chosen to be its leader.” Shortly before the confirmation of the creation of the Commission was announced, Najera - who is also a Balearic government spokesperson - said that she felt “thrilled” about the possibility of working alongside the Secretary of State for Tourism - Majorcan, Joan Mesquida - in order to get the Playa de Palma reform programme off the ground. However, she added, at the moment, her work was cut out for her at the regional Ministry of Employment, confronting the current “difficult” economic situation. In any case, Najera said, the final decision has not yet been taken. The person who should really be accepting this position, she suggested, is Francesc Antich, current Balearic president.

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