The Mayor of Palma, Joan Fageda, was fuming yesterday over the Balearic government's decision to exclude the city from the revised 12 million-euro Majorca road improvement plan. Just days after Palma city council announced new measures to rid the city centre of traffic and improve mobility in and around the capital, the people of Palma have been left flat-footed by the local government. “Palma has not been so insulted over the past 25 years,” Fageda said “Palma accounts for half of the Balearics population and they all pay their taxes,” he added. He accused the left-wing coalition government of “lying” and discriminating against the people of Palma while “acting in secret.” As far as Fageda is concerned, this is the last straw after the government refused to help Palma recover from the November storms and constantly changes its mind over improving health care in the capital. The Mayor said that there are absolutely no grounds for Palma to be excluded from the new road improvement plan and warned that the council is going to appeal against the decision. Fageda said that quite simply, the government has excluded Palma because the council is run by the conservative Partido Popular “which is very sad considering it is supposed to govern on behalf of every one.” City councillor for infrastructure, José María Rodríguez, accused government spokesperson Antoni Garcías, of “lying” adding that while all of the council's projects meet all the requirements necessary to be entitled to a slice of the 12 million euro war chest, the local government considers that the council has sufficient economic means to cover the costs itself. Rodríguez pointed out that not only has the council got to resolve the problem of the saturated road network, it also has to look after the airports and the port at great expense. Despite the knock-back, the council intends to push ahead with its roads plan, Rodríguez made it quite clear that city hall has little choice, otherwise within a few years the capital will have reached gridlock. In the meantime the council hopes to win its appeal against the government's decision, thus securing much needed funding - if not, city hall is resigned to the fact of going into debt. “The people of Palma are neither fools not stupid,” Rodríguez said warning that the government will have found it has only shot itself in the foot when it is time for the electorate to cast its votes at the May elections.

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