When all was relative harmony at Palma town hall. | Pere Bota


The thinly disguised difficulties in the relationship between PSOE, Més and Podemos at Palma town hall are threatening the budget for 2018. There is said to be concern and anxiety as next year's budget is considered to be the most important that the ruling trio of parties will be responsible for. This is because 2018 will be the last full year before the next election.

Within PSOE there is a feeling that the budget will be approved on time. There is among most councillors at the town hall an understanding that Madrid's constraints on spending will mean that there is very little extra money for "grand schemes". Nevertheless, there are some "malicious" comments flying around.

PSOE wants to place emphasis next year on local police numbers and equipment and also on a renewal of buses. Priorities for Més are urban planning projects. Mayor Antoni Noguera, who was deputy mayor for urban planning before taking over from José Hila of PSOE, has spent the whole period of the administration to date highlighting different projects.

Podemos need to be able to show some results from their involvement in the administration. There have been very few direct ones. Their proposal for a shuttle bus to link Son Espases Hospital and the Plaça Espanya is said to be a budget "non-negotiable", but it also could be blocked for the same reason that other projects are - those Madrid constraints.

The budget for 2017 had by this time last year already been decided. Next year's budget approval is still some way off, and it may be that the same budget as this year's has to be applied next year.