The Balearic government was trying to negotiate a deal with construction company Acciona yesterday to prevent work on the convention centre being brought to a halt on Monday and government spokesperson Marc Pons said that, should talks fail, then legal action will be taken.

The chief contractor, Acciona, has ordered companies that are working on it to down tools from Monday, this following a parliamentary announcement by Vice-President Barceló that the work is scheduled to finish on 31 December and that, if it isn’t, a daily penalty will be applied.

Firms that have been subcontracted by Acciona have confirmed that they have received this order and they are already gathering and taking away material. “We will not be able to go into the building on Monday,” said a representative of one of the companies.

The motives for Acciona’s decisions are unknown by these subcontractors, who say that Acciona is aware of payments to be made to them. Acciona, meanwhile, has indicated that it doesn’t wish to make any official announcement, although it adds that the Palacio company is aware of its decision.

The president of the Palacio board, Palma’s tourism councillor Joana Maria Adrover, insists that “up until a time that the work isn’t finished, nothing will be negotiated” regarding the clause that allows the board to penalise Acciona to the tune of 20,000 euros for each day there is a delay in completing the work. Adrover adds that “we aren’t going to drop this penalty as it is the public’s money, and so a right that we will stick to.”