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The Palacete

Jaume Matas Palou, the former president of the Govern de les Illes Balears, is under investigation. Señor Matas was the Mallorcan prime minister, if you want, from 1996 to 1999 and again, from 2003 until 2007. Between these two dates, the politician served as minister under José María Aznar in Madrid, as head of the Ministerio de Medio Ambiente (environment) for Spain’s national government. He was also the president of the Balearic Partido Popular from 1999 to 2007.

Jaume Matas won the Balearic provincial elections in 2007 but did not win enough votes to be able to again form a government. Instead of heading the opposition in Palma when a coalition government under Francesc Antich was formed, señor Matas went with his wife to Washington D. C. (USA), where they have lived ever since.

The building in today’s photo shows Can Sales Menor in Palma’s Carrer Sant Feliu, a casa señorial dating from around 1850. The Matas family is said to own a large flat in the planta noble on the first floor of this building. This appartment was raided last week by agents of the Guardia Civil under instructions from the courts in Palma; you might have read about it in the local papers or seen reports about the raid in the media. Ordinary Palma people and the media call Matas’ flat in Palma ironically el palacete. Criminal investigations centre around the cost overrun by about 200 % of the Palma Arena (Palma’s velodrome) project and an alleged misappropriation of public funds. Simultaneously, Jaume Matas’ financial affairs are also under investigation by the Spanish Inland Revenue under an operation code-named Operación Buckingham. Interesting to learn that the flat in Carrer Sant Feliu was never occupied by Matas and his family, even though a large amount of money seems to have been spent on its conversion.

A court date for the Palma Arena case has not yet been set. Jaume Matas has been declared a suspect, though, and will appear at Palma’s juzgados in March 2010. Along with Matas, a number of other Partido Popular politicians as well as members of his then government have also been named as suspects.

Maria Antònia Munar, the current president of the Parlament de les Illes Balears, appeared in Palma’s courts two days ago, on a different matter, the Can Domenge case. A different blog entry, maybe some other day.

The photo was taken in Palma de Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: November 4th, 2009. The time was 14:04:02.

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