Marga Prohens, the Partido Popular's parliamentary spokesperson. | Archive


On Tuesday and Wednesday, there is to be a parliamentary debate about the "state of the community", i.e. the Balearic region and its government. Marga Prohens, parliamentary spokesperson for the Partido Popular, believes that the debate is being disguised as a "matter of confidence" in the government pact. It is, she believes, a move to check if Podemos will still support the budgets for 2017. (Podemos, it may need reminding, are not formally part of the government but are part of the wider "pact" together with PSOE and Més.)

Prohens believes that the budgets are "up in the air". And to a degree they are, given that Madrid is unable at present to give clear statements as to the national budgets and how these may affect the Balearics. This is a consequence of the Rajoy administration still operating in an acting capacity. The anticipation is that this year's budgets will be carried forward into next year.

According to Prohens, because the region's budgets are unclear, President Armengol has brought forward the annual state of the community debate in order to separate it as much as possible from negotiations (with Podemos) over the budgets. It is also being held earlier, in her opinion, in order to avoid the possibility of Podemos breaking the pact on account of any differences with PSOE regarding the investiture of the next prime minister.

The PP spokesperson has also suggested that PSOE and Més have accepted Podemos "blackmail" over the issue of Daniel Bachiller, a doctor of molecular biology and a leading figure with Podemos in the Balearics, though not a member of parliament. Questions have been asked about the legality of grants made by the government for the laboratory he has at the Joan March Hospital. An internal report by the IB-Salut health service has now raised concerns about the fact that money, said to be as much as 1.5 million euros, has gone towards him and produced no results.

Prohens reckons that this is evidence of the price to be paid for the investiture of President Armengol, by which she means the parliamentary support for Armengol form Podemos.