Finance minister María Jesús Montero (centre), Carmen Planas (third left)

23-01-2019Juan Luis Ruiz Collado

The national finance minister, María Jesús Montero, has told the president of the Confederation of Balearic Business Associations, Carmen Planas, that the special economic regime (REB) for the Balearics has been finalised.

Planas, who was told this on Wednesday in Madrid, says that "we will soon have" the REB for the Balearics. The minister, she adds, understands business disquiet in the Balearics. If she hadn't understood, then Planas made clear when they met that there has been disappointment with the national government (of different political complexions) and its inaction with regard to the REB.

The latest disappointment is that the REB has not in fact been included in the 2019 state budget. On top of this, there is the state investment for the Balearics, which is going down by almost 12%. "The Spanish per-capita average is 261 euros. We only get 135 euros. The difference is abysmal."

The minister was informed by Planas that Balearic businesses have to assume the additional costs of insularity and that these need to be addressed. "We have been demanding measures for many years from governments whatever their colour. We are surprised that there is now a PSOE government in Madrid and in the Balearics, yet the political strategy is the same."

Planas went on to explain to the minister that the Balearics have to deal with inferior conditions and that these affect competitiveness at all levels. "The disadvantage facing Balearic businesses compared with businesses on the mainland has to be taken into account."

Having heard what Planas had to say, Montero informed her that the REB is imminent, though she was unable to give a date as to when the Spanish government will announce this officially.

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