Maria Salom, the national government's delegate in the Balearics. | Archive

The national government wants to strengthen its presence in the Balearics. It wishes to demonstrate to the public that it has certain key responsibilities for the region and that decisions taken in Madrid have direct consequences for the islands' residents. In order to do this, a greater political profile is to be given to the delegate, Maria Salom.

Part of the thinking behind a "relaunch" of the government's delegation has to do with Salom herself, about whom there are misgivings within the Balearic government. It is fair to say that the regional administration believes that Salom already has a more political profile than her predecessor, Teresa Palmer. It fears that Salom exercises a form of counter-power to President Armengol.

Salom is friendly with the deputy prime minister, Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría, who has been one of her chief advocates. She also has strong links to Mariano Rajoy, having been a deputy spokesperson for the Partido Popular in Congress.

While the regional government is suspicious of Salom, Madrid has its own suspicions about the Balearic executive. It has been noted that some ministers have been seeking to go over Salom's head in dealing with the national government on issues that should be channelled via the delegation. As important, if not more, is the fact that there are constant complaints made about the Madrid government. For this reason alone, the national administration is seeking to alter perceptions.

Along with delegates from the other Spanish regions, Salom has been working with Sáenz de Santamaría on modernising what can seem like peripheral administrations and on making them closer to the public. Madrid wants to reinforce cooperation with regional governments and to emphasise its essential role in enabling various projects to be developed.

An example of this is the recent announcement of some 7,000 public service jobs in the Balearics. The regional government was able to make this at a recent meeting with business and union representatives. The government delegate, Salom, will now seek to ensure that this is seen as a measure that has been promoted by the Rajoy executive.