House purchases in Balearics down 39%
During 2008 the number of house purchases in the Balearic Islands fell by 39.41%, on both new and existing properties. This was the second largest drop in Spain, Catalunya seeing a fall of 44.1%, and compares with the national average decrease of 28.8%.

... but registration of boats increases by 8%
Whilst the number of boats registered in Spain as a whole in 2008 dropped by 23% (and is forecast to fall still further this year), the Balearics saw an increase of 7.9% in the registration of pleasure boats, the only region to show positive figures. This is attributed largely to the number of foreigners who own boats in the archipelago (some of whom are from countries where the crisis is less pronounced) and to the region's attraction for the charter market.

J. Mª Quadrado project to employ 41 jobless
The José Maria Quadrado project has been awarded to the construction company Antonio Gomila for the sum of 2.34 million euros, funded by the State Fund for Local Investment. A total of nine companies bid for the work which will start in early April and take nine months to complete.
The successful construction company has proposed contracting 41 workers who are currently jobless to work on the project, employing the unemployed being one of the objectives of the State Fund.

Woman arrested for drug trafficking
Following several months of investigations, a 43-year old woman from Madrid, M. L. M., was arrested last week by the National Police in Ciutadella on suspicion of drug trafficking. The woman was carrying a postal package containing 31g. of cocaine-based paste and a later search of her home revealed 83g. of marijuana, 4g. cocaine, 345g. hashish and 350 euros in cash as well as items for cutting and distributing the substances.

Compensation only for principal residences
Owners of properties on the coast of Ciutadella affected by the storms at the end of January will only receive State aid if the damage was to their principal place of residence. The amount of compensation to be paid depends partly on the severity of the damage, rising to a maximum of 15,120 euros if the property was completely destroyed, and partly on the owner's annual income.
The conditions imposed greatly reduce the number of people entitled to State aid: for example, in Cala en Bosc there is only one person whose property is registered as their prime residence.

GESA overcharge to be refunded in April
The Balearic Government last week approved a resolution which will force GESA to recalculate the electricity bills for December, after discovering that the company had based these on prices which only came into effect in January 2009 and which showed an average increase of 3.5% on the 2008 tariff. The electricity company will have to refund the amount overcharged in April's bills.
The Government also noted that the surcharges for excessive consumption had been calculated on the difference between an actual reading and an estimated one and not two actual readings as should be the case.

Winning tickets in the 200 Club draw
The winning tickets for the 200 Club draw this month are:
50 euros goes to number 18 from Switzerland;
25 euros to Nº 86 from Maó;
10 euros to Nº 1 from Maó;
5 euros to Nº 108 from Carlisle.

Stocks fair opens in Maó this Friday
For the fifth year, the exhibition centre on the Maó industrial estate is to host the Stocks Fair which will open this Friday and last until Sunday evening (1000-2100 hrs. on Friday and Saturday and 1000-2000 hrs. on Sunday).
Despite the crisis the number of participants has remained fairly constant, 50 this year compared to 52 in 2008. Around 12,000 people are expected to visit the fair (paying an entrance fee of 1 euro per head) for the chance to buy discounted items such as clothes, shoes and complements.