Hundreds joined silent protest in Plaza Cort in Palma yesterday.


Hundreds of people joined Balearic politicians yesterday in five-minute silent vigils across the region in protest against the latest wave of ETA killings. King Juan Carlos, Queen Sofia and Prince Felipe later sent telegrams of condolence to the family of the soldier who was gunned down just hours after the islands came to a stand still in protest. In Minorca the secretary general of the governing Partido Popular party, Javier Arenas, said “ETA has started a war against the state.” Deputy Balearic Chief Minister Pere Sampol condemned the events of the past two days describing ETA's actions as “completely irresponsible barbarities.” President of the Insular Council of Majorca, Maria Antonia Munar said “the time has come to talk a little less and act more.” Munar called on the state institutions to take the situation more seriously. “The time has come to bring an end to this war once and for all,” she said. In the corridors of power at all levels across the country, tension is high and people are very nervous. Acting Mayor of Palma, José María Rodríguez, said that the latest killings “demonstrate that we are all targets. All those who are fighting for freedom and democracy are in their sights”. Staff at Palma airport also held five minutes silence yesterday in protest againt ETA's latest murders. Similar sentiments were echoed across the islands by local political leaders. It was Aznar who vowed on Monday while in Palma for a meeting with the King that there would be no retreat from the government's hardline stance against the Basque separatists.