Factory. The recent move to new premises was to have heralded a new era for CATISA


A 40% drop in demand due to the crisis plus a debt of 1.5 million euros (much of it owed to Seguridad Social and Hacienda) run up during José María Drudis' earlier ownership of the company have forced CATISA to ask for a voluntary creditor's meeting which will help to revitalise the firm so that it can continue in business, according to Javier Borbolla, the head of the fashion jewellery business.

Borbolla explained that the difficult economic situation had added to the impossibility of negotiating the debt with the different public organisations. He explained that all the company's resources had been exhausted (the workers even having gone four months without pay) and that by resorting to this legal formula it was hoped that the business would be able to continue and that the 38 CATISA workers could collect the pay owing to them and keep their jobs. Borbolla criticised the Balearic Government's lack of action and support and hoped that the meeting would act as a wake-up call.

Government plan
In response to Borbolla's criticisms the Government announced that the Department of Industry had been working on a restructuring plan for CATISA for almost a year. The plan's aim was to make the management more professional, update the products and look for new markets and objectives, thus revitalising the company. This was aside from the "exceptional payment" of 250,000 euros that the department awarded the jewellery firm last year.

According to the government, CATISA has failed to present any viable financial plan although it did deliver a "goodwill plan", unaccompanied by financial documents, to the Department of Industry at the end of last year. Several meetings have been held between the two parties but the company needs a large investment which the Government is unable to provide.

Awaiting payment
The Balearic Government owes more than 150 million euros to private companies, of which 32.7 million correspond to debts incurred by IB-Salut, the regional health service. According to the Councillor for Economy, Carles Manera, the government takes an average of 50 days to pay its suppliers, with the exception of invoices for less than 6,000 euros which are settled "almost immediately".

The matter was raised in the Balearic parliament by M.P. Cristóbal Huguet, who maintains that the total owing on unpaid invoices by the Government, Island Councils and Town Councils is in the region of 1,000 million euros.

The Member of Parliament suggested that the Government should reduce the payment period to a maximum of 30 days in order to help companies stay afloat in these troubled economic times.