The PSM-Entesa Nacionalista, Majorcan Socialist Party and Nationalist coalition, yesterday demanded that central government in Madrid set the process in motion for the Balearics, as a region, to have “direct and official” representation in the European Union and in Brussels. Nationalist coalition spokesperson Antoni Alorda said that the Balearics deserves to be able to fight its own corner and protect its own interests in Brussels. Alorda explained that the official plea which has been sent to Madrid, has been based on a series of diverse initiatives which have been adopted by Great Britain, Germany, Portugal, Belgium and Austria. All of the above countries have allowed distinct regions to have their own direct representatives in Brussels. Alorda said that the Balearics wants to join the European Union Council, the union's legislative body and be officially present in the Permanent Representation of Member States, the body which is responsible for carrying out the ground work on motions and proposals put forward to the European Council for debate. The Majorcan nationalist coalition's move has also been fuelled by a recent study carried out by the Alianza Libre Europea (ALE). The alliance is a federation of regional and nationalist within Europe which the PSM will join next week and push ahead with the alliance's manifesto which has taken its lead from Britain and Austria which have both allowed certain regions to have direct representation in Brussels. Alorda said that by joining the alliance, the PSM will be able to demonstrate to central government that it is not the European Union which does not allow “regions without a state to be represented in Brussels,” as Madrid claims. As far as the PSM is concerned, it is completely illogical that the Balearics, and other autonomous governments, have to depend on central government to debate on their behalf in Brussels with regards to issues which are exclusively relevant to the Balearics or any other autonomous region. The PSM also maintains that central government representatives will not, for example, debate Balearic issues with the same passion, concern, interest and knowledge as a Balearic representative would. The Balearics and other autonomous regions do have offices in Brussels, but they are not officially recognised by Madrid and are forced to operate as “private entities” this commanding little recognition from European Union bodies. Alorda believes that now is the perfect moment for the Balearics to strike because in January Spain will take over the Presidency of the European Union and “it is high time that central government changes its Jacobean way of thinking and stop recuperating powers from the autonomous government via the European Union.” Alorda believes that a direct presence in Brussels will not only be commercially and financially beneficial for the Balearics, but also culturally and linguistically. “We will be able to defend and push for greater recognition of the Catalan language,” he said “which until now because it is spoken in regions which do not have a state, has been ignored.” The PSM has also asked Madrid to allow the Balearics to legally appeal and defend itself in the European Community's Justice Tribunal.

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