There'll soon be no more of this at the Soller Tunnel. | Lluc Garcia

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The Balearic High Court has lifted the provisional measure that had prevented the Council of Majorca from eliminating the Soller Tunnel toll. In other words, the court has come down on the Council's side in the dispute with the tunnel's contractor, Globalvia, regarding compensation for the outstanding period of the contract. Globalvia will not be able to appeal the court's ruling.

The court's decision opens the way for the Council to have the toll barriers removed, and this could be as soon as next week. The councillor for infrastructure, Mercedes Garrido, explained yesterday that procedures are already in place and that the main issues now relate to the signing of the maintenance contract for the tunnel and to a recalculation of compensation down payment. The Council had offered 17.4 million euros. Globalvia had wanted 30 million. It was this difference in valuation which resulted in the court having to be involved.

The president of the Council of Majorca, Miquel Ensenyat, said that it was "a day to be happy" as there was an end to the "injustice for the people of the Soller region". Ensenyat recalled the words of the one-time president of the Balearics, Gabriel Cañellas, when the tunnel was finished: "Now enjoy it." What he had really meant was "now pay for it". But now, Ensenyat concluded, people can indeed enjoy it.