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Take The A Train

The incoming government discovered a few weeks after taking office that there was no money left in the coffers. On the contrary, the Comunidad Autónoma de les Illes Balears is presently said to be in debt to the tune of 5,587,000,000 €. That’s not quite as much as the National Debt of the USA (14,354,208,667,449 $ as of July 31st, 2011) but still, it is a frighteningly large sum of money. In the Illes Balears, as per June 30th, 2011, the annual budget, i. e. the difference between the annual revenue income and the annual current expenditure, is in deficit by 575,000,000 €.

As a consequence of doing the numbers, one of the big projects of the previous government has now been cancelled, the train-tram between Manacor and Artà. The budget for this ambitious mobility venture had been publicized by the Consellería de Movilidad y Medio Ambiente of the previous Govern as being the proud sum of 120,000,000 € but, on the actual building site in Artà, a panel quotes the even heftier amount of 190,000,000 € (see photo top). Whatever the actual figure might have been, the train will now not be extended beyond Manacor, at least not for the foreseeable future. At a guess, I would have thought that half the budget has been spent already on excavation and earth moving and so forth over the last four years since the project began. But, that money is probably still owed to the subcontractors and should be included in the overall debt figure quoted above, or shouldn’t it?

The photo (top) was taken in Artà, Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: May 18th, 2011. The time was 13:32:58. The photo (bottom) was borrowed from the Internet, courtesy of picasa.google.com and alternativaaltren.

Muchas gracias.

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