Biel Barceló announced the government’s intention today.

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The Balearic government is considering an appeal against the state in order to obtain investments for Playa de Palma, the outstanding value of which is 63 million euros. Vice-president Barceló says that the cabinet has agreed to study this appeal, while making it clear that the government remains open to negotiating these investments. This follows the announcement by central government that the Balearics will lose the outstanding 63 million euros destined for Playa de Palma because the investments had not been executed and the term for doing so ran out in August. The regional government has asked for more time to carry out the work, for which it says there is justification to extend the period for the investments by a year to mid-August 2016. Madrid, however, has refused to do this: hence, the consideration being given to legal means.

Defend interests
“The government wishes to defend the interests of the citizens and the right to the investments, which are so important for the remodelling of Playa de Palma, but at the same time we have to keep the political way open (meaning negotiation),” says Barceló. The vice-president adds that the government is still waiting on the convening of the bilateral Balearic-national government financing commission, something that has been promised by the prime minister, Mariano Rajoy.

According to Barceló, Madrid is presenting its refusal as though the investments were grants, and so the Balearic government is prepared to consider following a legal path in order to tell Madrid that there is an agreement for carrying out the investment in the name of the Balearic statute of autonomy, for which the state has an annual obligation to make these investments, which amount to some 200 million euros per annum. If Madrid doesn’t make them, argues Barceló, this doesn’t relieve the national government of its obligations.

Barceló has identified 83 million euros of investment in total, of which five million have been acted upon, 15 million are waiting to be justified and another 63 million which have not been forwarded. He says that two million more could be justified, and that if they are not and Madrid doesn’t give more time for this, the Balearic government could be faced with the problem of having to return half the 15 million.

“We are asking for an extension in order to have more time to carry out these works,” says Barceló, who has criticised the Partido Popular government of José Ramón Bauzá for having done nothing in this regard for four years, despite it making studies of the situation in Playa de Palma. The outstanding 63 million euros relate to projects for Playa de Palma under the auspices of Palma and Llucmajor town halls, the Council of Majorca, the regional government and the hoteliers’ association in the area. Most of them are for remodelling in order to bring about greater energy efficiency and improvements to infrastructure that is becoming obsolete, notes Barceló, who adds that there is a need for the tourism ministry to enter into a new agreement for state investments that affect tourism and Playa de Palma in particular.