President Armengol with President Puig of Valencia. | Jaume Morey


The Balearic and Valencia governments yesterday signed an agreement for fraternal collaboration in seeking the need to break the current status quo with regard to financing and to stop the Balearics and Valencia being the worst financed regions per capita in Spain.

The president of Valencia, Ximo Puig, and President Armengol put their names to an agreement - the "Accord of the Consolat de Mar" - which requires the national government to arrive at a financing arrangement that is fair and transparent for all regions. It proposes greater fiscal autonomy, the correction of imbalances between different levels of public administration and the guarantee of horizontal equity between regions.

Armengol referred to years of marginalisation of both the Balearics and Valencia by the Partido Popular in Madrid, while Puig called on central government to become an ally in ceasing to neglect both regions. In this regard he expressed his wish for a "progressive" government that would abandon a concept of centralisation.

The agreement has eleven points, the first of which is the call for a new model of financing that has nothing to do with the old approach of confrontation between regions. Puig stressed that he has no beef with any region, but was in favour of a general change to a system that gives equality to the people of all regions.

The state is to be asked, therefore, for a rebalancing of the historical underfunding of both the Balearics and Valencia through mechanisms such as debt relief. The agreement also envisages there being an invitation to other regions to unite in creating a common force to bring about a new system that will give equality in respect of essential public services such as health.

Both governments also signed up to working towards an improvement in sustainable industrial competitiveness as well as towards reducing seasonality and so lengthening the tourist season in both regions.

In developing this inter-governmental pact there is to be a bilateral monitoring team, while the agreement in its broadest sense is one for transformation, for profound political and social change and for a more just and cohesive society.