The president of the Balearic parliament, Baltasar Picornell, yesterday. | MDB


Baltasar Picornell, the president (speaker) of the Balearic parliament, used his speech to mark Balearics Day yesterday, to call for reform of the Constitution and the regional statute of autonomy.

He referred in particular to the system by which elected politicians and certain other public officials enjoy a privileged status in law. This means that if they face charges, they cannot be tried by an ordinary court but only by the highest court. In the Balearics, this is the Balearic High Court. He called for this privilege to be removed as it generates a justified grievance where the rest of society is concerned.

Constitutional reform is necessary, he argued, because today's society has changed. "My generation did not vote for it, and I'm not that young any more." He insisted that there should not be another forty years before the Constitution is reformed. (It dates from 1978.)

He recognised that some laws passed by the Balearic parliament have been questioned by the courts. He therefore suggested that there needs to be a new territorial model that deepens regional self-government through a reform of the statute of autonomy.

Picornell spoke about political corruption and the extent to which it has created a gap between politics and the citizenship and has generated disaffection. The citizens, he said, have been left to regret the high cost of corruption cases and they are far less tolerant of corruption.

In the Balearics, he believed, corruption has slowed economic and social development because too many millions of euros have been misappropriated. This has led to a loss of confidence that is "very difficult to recover". In this regard, he stressed the importance of the creation of the anti-corruption office.