Palma. “There are colleges in the Islands which have barely 20 euros left in the till,” Antoni Quintana, President of the Balearic Secondary School Directors' Association said yesterday. “If there are schools who have more than this paltry sum, it's because they are not up to date with their bill payments,” he alleged, adding that “everyone is in the same situation at the moment.” He said that secondary schools such as those in Santa Ponsa, and Madina Mayurca (in Palma) have no cash at all, describing these two as “just the tip of the iceberg.” Quintana claimed that the situation had reached this critical point because the regional government was five months behind in paying education subsidies. He said that it was only on 11th November when the government finally paid just 25 percent of what it owed schools for the second term of the academic year. “That means we were paid what we were owed up until 30th June,” said Quintana.

He said that many schools are now “living off” registration fees which were paid by pupils in September - 50 euros a head. “It's the small schools which are really suffering,” Quintana said “because clearly with less pupils, the less their income from registration fees.” He said the regional government had said that part of the debt owed to schools would be paid in stages on the 30th of every month. “But no money came on Wednesday this week,” he pointed out.

Many of us are now in a position where we just don't pay suppliers of goods and services or stop anything which was on its way from coming until the money arrives from the government. “It's just as well the suppliers trust us.”

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