The day after...

Balearic President Francesc Antich yesterday slammed the attacks on the United States as “the worst act of strategic terrorism in the history of mankind.” Having held crisis talks first thing yesterday morning with his cabinet to study the situation and also set up a body to monitor developments in the global tourist industry and financial markets which directly effect Balearic businesses, Antich sent a defiant message to the terrorists and a message of whole hearted support to the United States on behalf of the “Balearic people.” Antich said that “such an outrageous attack of this kind can not be allowed to cause either psychological, economic or financial destabilisation of the international community.” “On behalf of the Balearic people I would also like to send a message of solidarity to all the victims of this tragedy and the citizens of the United States who are having to live through an extremely dramatic and terrifying time.” The Balearic President described the “unprecedented acts of barbarism” as “direct attacks on the universal values of democracy and liberty.” “In the face of such attacks, those who defend liberty and democracy have to be united and the international community has to co-operate in the fight against terrorism,” Antich added. “We can not allow a handful of bloodthirsty, fanatical and unscrupulous terrorists to disrupt the peaceful family life of the planet.” “In response to these attacks, the best we can do is maintain our calm and serenity and try and get life back to normal,” Antich stressed. The Balearic president highlighted the need “to fight against terrorism and not to allow these people to instill a sense of fear amongst our communities.” He said that everything is as normal in the Balearics and that life goes on in all sectors “both private and public,” although he admitted that, as in the rest of the world, the attacks on the United States have effected everybody in one way or another. Antich's government is working closely with the United States Consular Agent to the Balearics, Tumi Bestard and the Foreign Office in Madrid in order to establish if any people from the Balearics are among the victims. The Confederation of Balearic Business Associations yesterday urged its members to be calm and wait patiently while the United States decided how it will respond to Tuesday's attacks. Confederation President, Josep Oliver, deeply saddened by the dramatic loss of life in New York and Washington, said that Balearics' businesses have been warned “not to lose their nerves” because “at least in the short term, it appears that the European economy will not notably suffer.” However, in the long term, Oliver said that calculating the full force of the effect on European markets and the economy the attacks will have is difficult. “There is a great sense of insecurity about what is going to happen next and nobody is sure that the conflict will not continue,” Oliver said. “Despite the fact we depend on external factors, we have got to make sure that Balearic businesses continue working as usual,” he said. “We've got to overcome any loss of confidence and keep calm, even though we don't know what's going to happen next.”


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