Balearics claims the sea as territory in order to receive more financing from Madrid. | UH

The Government claims that the sea counts as Balearic territory in the new funding system. One of the variables taken into account to calculate how much each autonomous community should receive is the size it occupies and the Balearic Islands wants to grow by counting as surface area both the inland sea, which connects the four islands, and the outer waters, those under Spanish jurisdiction, according to a 1967 law, and which affect the entire north coast of Mallorca.

The most realistic option for the Government would be to include the inland waters, which total 2,649 square kilometres. The surface area of the Balearic Islands would grow by 50% and would increase from the current 4,991.70 square kilometres to 7,640.7. The more territory, the more financing. This is one of the most striking proposals contained in a report presented by the Finance Ministry, in which the Director General of Financing, Francesc Oliver, and the Director General of External Relations, Antoni Vicens, have actively participated.

The report states that the surface area is a variable that has been historically used in the financing system because it is "relevant" in the calculation of the spending needs, such as environmental policies or infrastructures and has consequences in the provision of public services and in the increase in the cost of travel but not only on land. "This is a phenomenon that also occurs in the archipelagos with the double and triple insularity," notes document.

Like the Canary Islands

"The proposal of Balearics is to take into account the surface of the whole archipelago (including land and sea surface) for the calculation of this corrective variable, in the style of the 'Canary Islands waters' considered in the Statute of Autonomy of the Canary Islands," the report points out. "In the case of not considering this variable, at least the inland waters, over which the autonomous community has competences, should be included within the surface," concludes the Government in the letter sent to the Ministry.

The Government gives an example to illustrate the needs generated by a dispersed territory and mentions the distance of the population to the reference hospital. "It is a determining factor of spending needs that can be approximated by the surface area", it adds. Following the same reasoning, the Government insists that the sea that separates the different islands of the archipelago must also be taken into account. "The sea separates us even more than a mountain range or a desert,".

Key Points

  • A proposal put forward by Cañellas when he was president

    The proposal that the Government of Francina Armengol is taking up already appeared in a document presented by the then Finance Minister, Alexandre Forcades, during the presidency of Gabriel Cañellas, at the end of the 80s. The request was discarded by the government of Felipe González. 

  • Navarre and the Basque Country must contribute to solidarity

    The Government believes that Navarre and the Basque Country should participate in solidarity with the rest of the autonomous regions. "This does not have to suppose suppressing the economic concert, simply adapting it to guarantee that all the communities contribute to solidarity," the text assures.

  • Més also asks to count the floating population

    The deputy of Més, Josep Ferrà, joined yesterday in the plenary session to the request that the Government takes into account the weight of the floating population and has criticised that the Government does not want to take it into account. "It is the ghost population in the eyes of the Spanish Government," said the deputy in the plenary.

  • More weight of the population born outside of the EU

    The Government wants the document to incorporate compensations according to the foreign population born outside the EU. In 2020, the percentage of users of social services born outside the EU was 37.4% when the weight of this population over the total number of registered residents was 16.7%.