The Balearic parliament has accumulated bank savings of almost 10.7 million euros, the result it seems of good housekeeping during the years of economic crisis. On Tuesday, the chamber agreed the accounts for 2016, which showed a saving of 1.4 million euros.
The regional government is apparently looking upon this performance with a certain amount of envy. While parliament has demonstrated an ability to save, the government has spent the past ten years with a deficit. But more than just envy, the government is also eyeing up the cash. It wants parliament to hand over some of the savings so that it can add the money to its own budgets.
When Xelo Huertas was the parliament's president, an agreement was reached with the regional finance ministry to give the government one million euros. Huertas refused to go higher because cash was being kept in reserve to set up the anti-corruption office (which has still to be established).
As last year's saving was higher than the Huertas one million, the government is having another go. The finance ministry has started talks with the current president, Baltasar Picornell, which are aimed at upping the amount and eating into the 10.6 million.
The cabinet is making clear that it is the government which pays parliamentary expenses. For this reason, it in fact believes that it should get all the cash that is saved.
An indication of how parliament has saved money can be seen from a comparison of spending budgets for 2010, when Francesc Antich was president of the PSOE-led coalition, and for 2017. The amount has been lowered by two million from 15.8 million in 2010.