Matas hints that he may run for office in may elections

Pere Rotger, head of the Conservative Popular Party (PP) in Majorca told delegates at the party congress that Balearic society “expects a lot of us” to recover the “road to prosperity which has been lost by the bad management of the Progress Pact.” Rotger accused the Balearic government of having ruined all the hard-won economic and social achievements of the Balearics. Rotger, who is also Mayor of Inca, said that it will fall to the PP to right the wrongs, including “the crisis in tourism and the poor image of the islands abroad.” He went on to say that the party had to call on residents to tell them that it is possible to rule in a different way to the Progress Pact. But the speech which won the biggest response was that of former leader Jaume Matas, who hinted that he would stand for election as head of the Balearic government in next year's elections, saying that he was at the party's disposition. He said it was now time “to sprint to win the elections,” because the years under the Progress Pact have caused “great moral and economic damage” to the islands. Josep Juan Cardona, head of the party in Ibiza-Formentera, said that the conservatives were the only party capable of saving the islands from the Progress Pact, which he described as “an alliance which has made us lose the elections but not our principles.” The congress, at the Auditorium, was attended by more than 1'200 delegates and was closed yesterday evening by Javier Arenas, the party's secretary general. The delegates approved all the reports that were presented. Jaume Font, the PP spokesman on the Council of Majorca, centred his speech on immigration, calling for “responsible generosity” and fleeing from “the xenophobia trap.” José Maria Gonzalez Ortea, the PP's parliamentary spokesman and former tourism minister, said that the past three years in opposition had been like “crossing a jungle, not a wilderness,” as they have been characterised by continuous attacks by the Progress Pact. But, he added, the party has not been quiet, and presented more than 4'000 parliamentary initiatives during the legislature. He said that the years under the Pact had been characterised by “a confused and economically suicidal policy” and the rejection of thousands of millions of pesetas from Madrid to improve the roads or the railway network.

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