The power struggle between the Insular Council of Majorca and the Balearic government over which authority will have control over new legislation governing the expansion and size of superstores in Majorca rages on and the foundations of the left wing coalition government are shaking yet again. Talks between the Insular Council of Majorca, whose president Maria Antonia Munar is also head of the Majorca Unionist party which holds the balance of power in the local government with its three MP's swinging the balance of power in favour of the coalition, and the local government broke down on Tuesday with the Insular Council wanting to regulate the new law, but Pere Sampol, deputy chief Minister and Minister for Commerce, said yesterday “it is fundamental” that the new Balearic Commercial Law remains in the hands of the local government. Sampol warned Munar's party that it “can not start laying down ultimatums” and that he is open to dialogue until the very end but wants the new Commercial Law pushed through parliament as soon as possible. But apart from the wrangling over the new commercial law, this latest clash of interests appears to have brought to a head differences of opinions between the Majorcan Unionist party and the government. Sampol criticised the UM's approach to negotiations and the manner in which the UM always filter leaks to the media before sitting down with the government. At the moment there are 15 superstore projects on ice, frozen by the government's moratorium on further superstore expansion which has been drawn up very much in favour of small shopkeepers, a commercial sector the government strongly supports and aims to protect. Munar wants the Insular Council to be invested with the power to decide on the future of the 15 projects, but the government is standing its ground. Chief Minister Antich yesterday tried to play down the breakdown in talks, denying there is a “a crisis” between the UM and the government, expressing his confidence that a solution will be found.

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