The Balearics is to help Malta prepare itself for joining the European Union and the model devised by the Balearics for EU alignment has also been adopted by Denmark. Balearic Vice-President, Pere Sampol, said yesterday that this is the first project the Balearics has been directly involved with on behalf of Spain and is one of 64 EU projects Spain is taking part in. Sampol said that the historic, cultural, geographic and economic similarities between the Balearics and Malta encouraged central government in electing the Balearics as its representative. The Balearics will have a delegate in Malta for a period of 12 months in order to oversee the island's political and financial preparations for joining the European Union. Malta has a population of 400'000 people living in an area half the size of Minorca and Sampol said that the pressures on Malta's infrastructure are enormous. The Malta Project, which was unveiled in Palma yesterday, will focus on the problems of water, power, waste, the environment and tourism as well as those created by being an island. The islands also share similar socio-economic problems such as the massive exodus of young people away from agriculture and into industry, tourism or the service sectors.

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