Newsdesk THE site of the new national health hospital, the closing of the metro, and the amount of money which the Balearics will receive from Madrid under the new statute dominated yesterday's meeting in Parliament.

Aina Castillo, the Partido Popular (PP) spokeswoman on health matters, claimed that halting work at the Son Espases site while alternative sites are being studied is costing one million euros a month.

She also claimed that the government could build two new hospitals with what it will cost to halt work for good, referring to the compensation which would have to be paid, the purchase price of new land and modification of the entire project.

She accused health minister Vicens Thomas of being “anti hospital” and said that the coalition government was “more interested in attacking the PP than protecting the interests of citizens.” But Thomas hit back, saying that the PP was to blame for the delay in building the hospital as it had not found a solution in the 11 years it was in power.

He said that the coalition government has “inherited the problem” from the previous government and claimed that the Son Espases project “only favours speculation.” Carles Manera, the Balearic minister of the economy, claimed that the debt inherited from the PP government was nearly 3'000 million euros, leading to a financial situation which he described as “cause for great concern and very complicated.” He explained that the audits carried out up to now have put the figure at 3'000 million euros because of projects such as the Illes Sport Foundation, the Palma-Arena cycling track and other consortiums.

Rosa Estaras, the PP spokeswoman in Parliament, offered her party's support to Balearic leader Francesc Antich to obtain greater state investment. She pointed out that under the new Statute, the State should provide 600 million euros over seven years, not the 300 million which has been granted.

Mabel Cabrer, the former minister of public works and transport, the flooding problems at the metro were not due to faulty structure but to insufficient drainage for rain, and Antich's government had had a month in which to find a solution and remedy the situation.

She accused the government of “alarming the population” and not giving information.