The regional government, unions and business associations have signed up to an agreement to lay the groundwork for the creation of quality employment in short, medium and long terms all the way up to 2030. The agreement for a pact on competitiveness, employment and social progress for the Balearics was signed today at the presidential headquarters, the Consolat de Mar, by President Armengol and representatives from the union and business sectors.

Armengol said that it was important to know what Balearic Islands were wanted in 2030. And for this there will be a working together. The signing marked an "important day", she suggested, in transforming the currently good economic figures in the Balearics into general welfare for the people of the islands through, in particular, training and innovation.

With the signing, there will be two working parties - one under the auspices of the ministry for innovation, research and tourism (Biel Barceló) and the other under the employment, trade and industry ministry (Iago Negueruela). These will be the forums for arriving at specific measures to assist in creating quality employment and they will also address issues at the heart of the current government's legislative programme: job insecurity and social rights.

In stressing the benefits of working together in order to improve Balearic competitiveness, Armengol said that the type of dialogue now occurring (with both business and unions) should never have been lost. She thanked those signing the agreement for their commitment to making the Balearics fairer.

Carmen Planas, president of the CAEB (Balearic Confederation of Business Associations), said that the dialogue was very positive and necessary. The working parties would be working towards solutions, she suggested. "In the Balearics there is a problem of competitiveness," she admitted. It was necessary, therefore, to reverse this situation in creating greater wealth and well-being for the people of the islands.

The general secretary of the CCOO union, José Luis García, believed that this was a "great day" for the Balearics and the start of a process for job creation and the abandonment of a model that has been based on job insecurity and social exclusion.

Alfonso Rojo of PIMEB, the small to medium-sized businesses association, said that previous confrontation between businesses and workers had been sought "erroneously" as both sides are in the same boat. Crisis was a time during which smaller businesses had suffered a great deal, noted Rojo, who highlighted the need for training as a means of achieving quality employment.