Biel Company, the leader of the Partido Popular in the Balearics, has criticised the Balearic government's "decorative marketing and advertising" policy for management of the coronavirus pandemic.
At a press conference on Tuesday, Company suggested that the government has been "towed along" by the heath crisis and that neither it nor the Spanish government has done what it should have. He said that he will be demanding the "urgent" appearance of President Armengol before the Balearic parliament's permanent deputation* in order to explain failures of protocols. "When the Spanish government stepped aside (at the end of the state of alarm), the deficiencies of the Balearic government could be seen."
Company highlighted the need to reinforce the islands' system of primary health care. "The government undertook a restructuring, which has resulted in a worse health care service than ten years ago. It has not really been a restructuring, but a process of hidden cuts."
There are municipalities, he added, without a doctor or a nurse. "Telephone consultations often go unanswered, and there is a collapse in hospital emergencies. The health service must be strengthened, and personnel must be provided with the necessary means."
With regard to the economic situation, Company insisted that there must be a "true reactivation plan and not a copy and paste of budgets and the Bellver pacts**." "An extraordinary situation cannot be tackled with ordinary measures. The first thing which needs to be done is to allocate the budget to effective measures and rapid execution. Spending and investment must be prioritised. The number of senior officials must be reduced, and there should be a focus on and reinforcement and coordination of social assistance."
On tourism, Company said that, "months ago", his party had asked President Armengol to maintain "bilateral relations" with Germany and the UK through businesspeople resident in the Balearics in order to manage the way to guarantee safe tourism and "to prevent things like those which have happened from happening". "Sra. Armengol repeated that we were a safe destination, but we later found that the task had not been carried out." Company therefore reiterated the need for "massive testing" and sanitary controls at ports and airports.
* The permanent deputation deals with urgent business when parliament is in recess. ** The Bellver pacts refer to agreements between PSOE, Més and Podemos for the current government.