Ensenyat delivers his speech during Majorca Day celebration. | P. Bota


In the ceremony to celebrate Majorca Day yesterday, the president of the Council of Majorca, Miquel Ensenyat, called for improved financing and the transfer of powers to the island councils of the Balearics.

Ensenyat started his speech by noting that Majorca Day should be one when all Majorcans can look at one another and know that they are part of a collective project going forward in which everyone can be proud. He spoke of a commitment to creating a council that is at the service of the people in "a radical way", and so announced the launch of a "plan of participation" that will influence all aspects of the council's work.

In terms of funding, he called on President Armengol to renegotiate the financing of the Balearics, as this affects the councils, the town halls and ultimately the people. It cannot be, he said, that no more than 3,000 million euros a year are returned (to the Balearics; a reference to the system of distribution of regional funding through tax revenues). "This is plundering. A colonial arrangement." The Balearics have the worst financing deal after Valencia, he stressed, and state investment per capita gets lower.

He asked the Speaker of the Balearic parliament for a new law for the councils of the Balearics, one that is ambitious and adapted to the new statute (of autonomy) and to new realities, and one that will "give us what we deserve".

Ensenyat reflected on history, referring to the Spanish War of Succession and the the Nueva Planta decrees, "which ended the old Kingdom of Majorca and turned it into a province of Castile under the absolutist system imposed by the Bourbons". "It is necessary that we remember who we are and where we are going in planning adequately for the future." Majorcans, he suggested, were victims of the theft of their own history and of the "progressive marginalisation of our language and the attempt to do away with the Catalan linguistic conscience of unity".