30-07-2015Teresa Ayuga

There is to be a thorough revision of the law as it applies to the island councils in the Balearics, with the regional parliament planning on evening out powers that the councils have, clarifying their relationship with the regional government and avoiding duplications.

This is not a new idea but it will be the first time that there has been a serious examination and reform of law governing the roles of the councils that was passed in 2000. The process will start with a meeting on Monday between President Armengol and the presidents of the four councils.

The Councils Act of 2000 was passed during the first government led by PSOE’s Francesc Antich, and it had been a demand made by the former Unió Mallorquina (UM) party which, in exchange for not being part of that government’s executive, sought a law that increased the powers of the Council of Majorca, which the UM controlled.

These were such that they were a parallel government. Although the law applied to each council, responsibilities that were assumed were ones deemed necessary, while others were left in the hand of the regional government. Over time, therefore, and as the current government’s spokesperson, Marc Pons, points out, the distribution has become uneven, while new situations have arisen that have added to this. One such is the transfer of tourism organisation, something which was resisted in Majorca by the previous president, Maria Salom.

Pons says that any decisions on reform will be taken through agreement with the islands’ presidents. The funding of the islands will also be addressed, though the model for this is specified under a different law. The regional government, meantime, owes the islands almost 170 million euros.

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