The Balearic socialist party has called on Parliament to ask the central government to call an urgent meeting of the joint energy committee to resolve the islands' problems in this field. It will present the motion at today's parliamentary meeting, and is confident that the PP (conservative Popular Party) will back the proposal, spokesman Andreu Crespí said yesterday. The socialists also want the central government to finance the gas pipe which will link the Peninsula with Ibiza and Majorca, in keeping with the REB, the special regime for the Balearics. Crespi called on the central government to set up a meeting of the REB's energy committee, which was formed in October 2001. The central government cancelled the meeting scheduled for January 15, and the committee has not met since. The socialists want the government to approve a decree before summer, which includes the construction of the gas pipeline as part of the national gas distribution network. This would mean that the cost would be paid by all gas users in Spain, rather than coming from Balearic community coffers. The central government and ENAGAS have accepted that the gas pipeline is “the most comfortable, sustainable and cheapest” energy solution for the Balearics, and the socialists now want the project to be given priority over similar projects in the government plan for the period 2002-2011. The socialists also want energy costs to include “compensations” for residents of the Balearics and the Canary Islands, taking into account the additional costs brought about by insularity. Crespi said in Palma yesterday that he hoped that all the parliamentary groups would support the initiative, given the urgency of the matter.

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