President Armengol met Mariano Rajoy in September 2015.

02-09-2015Efe

The clash over the flat-rate inter-island flight tariff is just one issue which is causing conflict between the regional and national governments. There are some dozen issues which the Balearic government considers to be "fundamental" and wants to be resolved urgently. Most of them are financial and economic, but there is a political dimension as well. As President Armengol told Mariano Rajoy back in September 2015, there is a "Balearic agenda".

A call to amend the Ley de Arrendamientos Urbanos (referred to as the tenancy act) is one demand coming from the Balearics. Reform, e.g. by stipulating a minimum length of tenancy of one month, would assist in exerting greater control over holiday rentals. Palma also wants a repeal of labour reform and the LOMCE education law of 2013.

The Balearic government has yet to receive the green light for the changes of use at the Son Dureta and Verge del Torro (Minorca) hospitals. There is also an issue regarding the so-called replacement rate, by which Palma is limited in making full-time public-sector appointments and has to rely on temporary personnel instead.

Madrid is not allowing a change to this because it isn't covered by the budget. The same goes for the flat-rate flight tariff. A further bone of contention has to do with outstanding state investment under the agreement for roads. The Balearic government is due to receive three instalments of 80 million euros; it has yet to receive the first of these.

Palma also wants Madrid to deal with a situation related to the payment of non-contributory pensions, for which the social services ministry is assuming a cost of 1.3 million euros.

The biggest issue, though, is the system of regional financing. An aspect of this is a call to cancel historic debt that Palma owes Madrid. Armengol raised this at the January conference of regional presidents. She didn't get very far with the proposal.

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