Balearic Chief Minister Francesc Antich's biggest stumbling block is the Partido Popular government in Madrid. Antich yesterday, just 24 hours after having come under fierce attack from leader of PP opposition in the Balearics, Jose María Gonzalez Ortea, called for an urgent meeting with his opposite number in a bid to present Madrid with a united front. Antich said yesterday that, if possible, he wants to meet for talks with Ortea before the end of next week in order to “swap opinions” and work together in the search for solutions to the Balearics' problems and establish a united front in Madrid. But Antich and his “rainbow” coalition have been accused of “lacking dialogue” and Ortea told Antich across the floor in parliament that the best thing for the Balearic people would be for the Chief Minister “to become history.” Antich has called on the Partido Popular to “change in attitude” so that the two sides can start negotiating “priority issues and find solutions to issues which are fundamental for the region.” But the PP feel that Antich's progressive left wing pact was elected, so it is the coalition's job to solve the problems and take the Balearics forward, that is one of the reasons the pact won the election, the electorate thought the pact best to solve the island's problems. Antich's plea for co-operation is nothing more than asking the PP in the Balearics to turn political traitor against its fellow colleagues and party bosses in government in Madrid. The PP is also wondering who would take the credit when it comes to the next election. Antich nevertheless believes “it would be a great shame is negotiations between the two parties are not possible.” Ortea responded yesterday by saying that “if the government is prepared to stretch out its hand, we will accept, but over the past 18 months, it has made no such gesture.” “As far as the PP is concerned, we are open to the pact,” Ortea said, repeating his complaints that the left-wing coalition has closed itself off since being elected.

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