Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar flew in to Marivent Palace in Palma yesterday on board Spanish Air Force Helicopter for the first of his summer talks with King Juan Carlos of Spain. Just hours before Aznar flew in from Minorca, where he is currently on holiday with his wife and family, two policemen were injured in northern Spain on Sunday when radical Basque youths attacked their car with home-made firebombs. Aznar said as he emerged from talks with the King, that terrorism is on the top of the agenda and that he is confident that the fight against terrorism “is the priority of all priorities” in the Basque Country. The Prime Minister also sent a message of sympathy and support for the two injured policemen. Aznar said that the two policemen had been “injured by terrorists and not kids with petrol bombs.” He said that the Basque separatist group ETA “is made up of people dedicated to terrorism and they have to be fought with whatever arms necessary.” Aznar said that he is well aware of the fact that terrorism is the country's main problem but gave his word that the government will keep up the fight with “more force and determination” than ever. Away from the problems facing Spain as a nation, Aznar said that the introduction of the Balearic government's tourist tax “would be a shame.” “Adopting measures which would damage the region's principal industry, tourism, would be a great shame and we would kick ourselves for doing so in times to come.” The Prime Minister stressed the importance of tourism as Spain's main industry “it creates the most jobs, provides life for the majority of people, creates great wealth and offers endless opportunities to the Spanish, so therefore we need to look after it and make it better.” The Prime Minsiter added “in the intelligent interests of Spain and the Spanish, measures which would damage a national industry should never be introduced, to the contrary, we should be working hard to improve it.” Aznar declined to comment or respond to the criticisms made about himself and central government by the Balearic President, Francesc Antich, after Madrid announced its decision to mount a legal challenge against the tourist tax. However, Aznar did say that he and his cabinet are prepared to accept the judge's final decision.

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