President of the Council of Majorca and leader of the Majorcan Union party, Maria Antonia Munar, used her keynote speech in parliament yesterday to put immigration at the top of the political agenda. On the second and final day of the parliamentary debate on Balearic government policy and performance, Munar called for solutions to immigration: “we may well blame Madrid, but it's our problem,” she said, suggesting that offices could even be set up in main immigrant source countries to help control and manage immigration. The president of the Council, who has made a number of controversial comments on immigration, said that these offices could take care of searching for contracts for workers. “Everybody who lives in Majorca is Majorcan, that's why they need to integrate,” she said, backing President Antich's call for all new residents to integrate. Munar also gave her support to the government's tourism plan, unveiled on Tuesday, but called on the government to improve roads, open more golf courses and expand the marinas in order to boost quality tourism which brings more financial reward. “In Majorca we prefer rich tourists, it's cruel, but that's the reality,” she said, adding that is why the island needs the adequate infrastructure for a quality tourist industry. Minister for Labour Eberhard Grosske said that the immigration boom in the Balearics has been caused by the region's economic model and that immigrant workers were needed to keep the economy going, hence why a few weeks ago the Balearic government controversially said that it intends to bring immigration under control by slowing down the economy. Grosske agreed that steps need to be taken to ensure moderate and controlled increases in non European Community immigrants, which currently account for 25 per cent of foreigners in the Balearics.

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