With cracks between the parties of the government pact seemingly ever more evident, President Armengol has stated that the current administration has been characterised by “plurality, agreement and dialogue”. “We are an example to the country of a model of a pact with courageous and decisive policies.”
The agreements for change signed up to by PSOE, Més and Podemos in 2015 had enabled a “progressive government and a roadmap” for the four years of the administration.
With there still being doubts about the Spanish government’s ability to gain approval for the 2019 budget, Armengol assured Alberto Jarabo of Podemos that the Balearic budget will be passed in a “definitive manner” next month.
She explained that she has no responsibility for the state budget, but Jarabo called on the parties of the left in the Balearics to apply influence for the budget to be agreed.
He observed that at present it was highly likely that there will not be agreement on the budget. If not, then Prime Minister Sánchez will be forced into calling a general election.
With regard to the row over increased air fares since the introduction of the higher residents’ discount, Armengol denied that the government has been looking the other way while the prices have been going up.
She stressed that the Balearic government does not have specific competence for the prices but did underline the fact that since 2016, 30 investigations into airline pricing have been opened and over one million euros worth of fines handed out to those carriers which have been found to have broken the rules and regulations.
Armengol said that it is a matter for the state, and she noted that the government had forwarded complaints about pricing to the National Competition Commission.
Gaining an increase in the discount, she insisted, had been “difficult to achieve”, especially as the former Partido Popular government did little to push the matter.
The fact that there has been an increase was in itself “good news”, but there must be control of it and of airlines’ fares, a statement which was supported by the President of the Balearic Association of Travel Agents, Antoni Abrines, who met the Balearic government to discuss what action can be taken on Tuesday.
When the discount increase was announced, there were immediate fears that airlines would hike fares.