Lluís Apesteguia (left) following the meeting on Monday. | Pere Bota


On Monday, the executive of Més, one of three parties in the Balearic coalition government, held an emergency meeting to consider an exemption being applied to temporary staff in the health service. This exemption does not require them to have qualifications for Catalan.

The health ministry is run by PSOE, the main partner in the coalition. Més are demanding that PSOE alter their position and drop this exemption. They are warning that there could otherwise be Més resignations, the most likely being that of the government's director general for language policy, Beatriu Defior. The Més coordinator and candidate for the Balearic presidency at this May's election, Lluís Apesteguia, said after the meeting that the party will not be quitting the government over the matter, this possibility having been raised on Monday. Més have two government ministers - Miquel Mir (environment) and Fina Santiago (social affairs).

Apesteguia added: "The citizens must be aware that we are risking our linguistic rights. We are not in a threat game. We are in politics so that things are done properly." One of these, where Més are concerned, is the use of Catalan by health personnel.