President Armengol making her Constitution Day address. Maria Salom looks on.

06-12-2016Teresa Ayuga

President Armengol said today that a minority government in Congress offers the opportunity for constitutional reform and for a new model of regional financing. It is time for dialogue, she stressed, during the ceremony for Constitution Day at the Almudaina Palace in Palma.

A minority government (Mariano Rajoy's Partido Popular) can only function through dialogue, she observed. A constitution for the "new generations" is required, one with federal criteria that will redirect the "Catalonia question" and provide the basis for a new system of regional financial distribution.

"We will continue to be the voice of our citizens' demands of Madrid," she announced, and called on all politicians to set aside party interests and concern themselves with the interests of the people of the Balearics.

Maria Salom, making her first significant speech since being appointed the national government's delegate to the Balearics, appealed for grand agreements and national pacts to tackle issues such as education, employment and financing. As far as any constitutional changes are concerned, she observed that there are limits - the unity of the country being one of them.

On financing, she said that now was the time to approve a new system. Complaints are not only being made in the Balearics. Most regions have their own demands. The national government, she suggested, was willing to now look at this. Previously, there had been other priorities, ones demanded by Brussels.

In Madrid, Mariano Rajoy appealed for caution with regard to any possible constitutional reform. Now was not the time, he said, to trivialise the debate. He told Congress that he was open to listening to proposals for reform that might be reasonable.

He insisted that it had to be clear what change is wanted and what cannot be touched. If there is to be a Congress sub-committee for reform, it would have to have a rough idea of what its outcome would be.

Rajoy stressed what is important to him: the unity of Spain, national sovereignty, equality of all Spaniards and their fundamental rights and freedoms, membership of Europe and the basic pillars of the welfare state.

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