BALEARIC leader Jaume Matas called for better funding for the islands at yesterday's ceremony marking the 27th anniversary of the Constitution, an act that was boycotted by the Majorcan Socialist Party (PSM) and the Catalan Republican Left (ERC). Representatives of both parties said it was “not our Constitution” and there was nothing to celebrate.
Matas described finance as “the cornerstone of the future of the autonomous regions.” In his speech, Matas said that finance was the “key question for home rule in the Balearics,” as it ensures efficient management.
And he went on to express concern for the changes which are being made in the distribution of wealth in Spain. Decisions taken regarding one region inevitably affect the others, and so negotiation should be multilateral, he said. He added that if any other region changes its home rule statute to include finance, then the Balearics “have every right to introduce their own economic demands.” Changes to the Constitution are a sensitive subject at the moment, as Catalonia is demanding more home rule and the right to call itself “a nation.” Matas has been seeking improved funding from Madrid for some time now. In his speech he said that it receives 40 per cent less than other regions, despite a 25 per cent increase in population over the past five years.
Government representative Ramon Socias, for his part, said that “there is nothing more opposed to the spirit of the Constitution than trying to monopolise its interpretation or putting it in the centre of party disputes.” He rejected what he called “new contemporary formulae of the two Spains” and “new attempts to maliciously provoke jealousy between regions.” He denied that the process of modifying regional home rule statutes involved “hidden reforms of the Constitution.” Among the authorities who attended the act were Maria Antonia Munar, president of the Council of Majorca, Pere Rotger the Parliamentary Speaker, and Mayor of Palma Catalina Cirer. Prior to the speeches by Matas and Socias, a group of citizens from the 17 regions of Spain read out loud articles of the Spanish Constitution.
They were the articles referring to freedom of unions and the media, financial balance between regions and the nature of the Spanish State, among other matters.


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