ALTHOUGH the suspense over the signing of the roads agreement continued until the last minute, the Partido Popular (PP) on the Council of Majorca finally decided to change their stance and abstained from the vote so as not to block the signing of the agreement for a State investment of more than 430 million euros in Majorca's roads. The PP had voted against this at the meeting last week, a “no” vote which, together with the votes of two other opposition parties, stopped the signing of the agreement. At Monday's meeting, however, the PP opted for abstention so as not to obstruct the investment.
In spite of this, the spokesperson for the PP, Fernando Rubio, pictured, left made a critical speech against the Spanish Prime Minister, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, who he accused of lying and trying to “blackmail” the Balearic Government. Rubio was referring to a clause which had been inserted into the roads agreement, which establishes that the investments made by the central government will replace those which the Balearic Government agreed with the last Spanish Government led by Jose Maria Aznar. Rubio said he doubted the legality of a clause which allowed two administrations (the Council of Majorca and the Spanish Government) to set aside an agreement made with a third party, in this case the Balearic Government. Rubio also had dismissive words for Francesc Antich, the former leader of the Balearic Government, of whom he said “he's irrelevant”.
In any case, the abstention of the PP allowed the agreement to be approved. The Council of Majorca's councillor for Roads, Antoni Pascual, said that the agreement will allow them to go ahead with road projects which are in the pipeline, such as the construction of ring roads in various towns and the improvement of Palma's access roads. For the socialists (PSOE), Antoni Alemany said that the agreement doesn't mention a second ring road for Palma, and said that it will be the new Council of Majorca after the elections in May which will manage the Ministry's investments. Alemany stated definitely that if the new Council is led by the PSOE, there will be no second ring road for Palma. This forceful statement by the socialist spokesperson was made after both the Red-Green Alliance and the PSM (Majorcan Socialists) announced their opposition to the agreement on the understanding that it included the second ring road. The spokesperson for the PSM, Antoni Alorda, presented an amendment that the agreement should exclude the ring road but this was rejected.

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