Deputy leader Pere Sampol said yesterday that “we have to prepare to live two more years with a moderate growth in the economy.” He added “I do not want to speak of crisis, but we are going through a period of change, income from tourism has dropped and exports are down. The government is aware of this situation.” Sampol, who is also the minister of commerce and industry, said that Europe is preparing a series of actions to help small and medium sized businesses. He was speaking at the opening of the headquarters of the PIME-Balears federation (small and medium sized business associations) in the Parc Bit. The opening was also attended by government leader Francesc Antich and Antoni Marqués, chairman of the federation. Marqués said that the situation of the Balearic economy was cause for concern, particularly as in recent years records had been broken. “The change of century has caused a slow down, caused by circumstances such as the arrival of a change in the economic cycle, the crisis in Germany and the consequences of 11-S,” he said. He added “the government and business should analyse the complaints of tourists and increase promotion.” He also said that tourism was a weak sector which felt the effect of any crisis such as those which countries with strong economies such as Germany and the United States are suffering. He said that business had to make an effort “but the Balearic government has to make double the effort to verify the true situation and what action must be taken to prepare for next summer.” Marques also went on to say that the Balearics were not the only tourist destination which had seen bookings go down, as parts of Turkey and Greece have also been overtaken by other destinations such as Croatia. The new office in the ParcBit estate is small, only 140 square metres, Marques said, but it is sufficient for its purposes. It will be headquarters to the three main bodies of the federation, which he described as “probably the best developed in Spain.” Antich praised their work, saying that “without the efforts of the small and medium sized businesses, the objective of advancing would not be achieved. Their dynamic and enterprising spirit generates wealth, jobs and social wellbeing.” Also present at the opening were Miquel Lladó, chairman of the Chamber of Commerce, and Francesc Triay, head of the port authority, and the heads of the three PIMEs which form the federation, Jaume Xavier Rosselló, Antoni Juaneda and Tomás Garrido.

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