Staff reporter PALMA has been struck off the list of Spanish cities applying to become the European City of Culture in 2016, Central Government declared yesterday. The Ministry of Culture said in a statement issued in Madrid that the reason for the rejection of the application was that Palma's Bid Committee which put forward all the official documentation had not made it expressly clear that they were acting on behalf of the municipality of Palma.

The rules of application for the title of European City of Culture had been strictly determined by the national government and Palma had failed to adhere to them, the statement read.

The news will be extremly disappointing for the regional government who had hoped to benefit from the grants that the award would have secured and from the opportunity to put Palma firmly on the map of European Cultural Tourism.

Yesterday's ruling in Madrid was part of the selection process that would have whittled down the original application list of 16 Spanish cities to a shortlist of just 5. Since the contest was set up in 1985, Salamanca on the mainland is so far the only city of Spain that has secured the title of European Capital of Culture.