King Juan Carlos of Spain presses the button and starts the new print press in motion.
Two years after work first started on building the Grup Serra's new print press on the Son Valenti industrial estate in Palma, King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia of Spain yesterday officially inaugurated the new plant. Chairman of the Grup Serra, the Daily Bulletin's parent company, Pere A. Serra, described yesterday's grand opening as the most important event in the 110-year history of newspaper Ultima Hora and the 12 years since the Grup Serra was founded. The new plant, which houses the very latest newspaper printing technology with the Köening & Bauer Comet print press at its core, is the foundation of the future for the Grup Serra, the Balearics' largest and leading independent media organisation. Yesterday's inauguration ceremony was attended by over 300 dignitaries and some 500 employees. King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia were greeted at the entrance of the plant shortly after 12.30 by Pere A. Serra, his wife and director of the Daily Bulletin Doña Margarita Magraner, the President of the Balearics, Francesc Antich, the Secretary of State for the Environment, Jaume Matas, central government delegate to the Balearics, Catalina Cirer and President of the Council of Majorca, Maria Antonia Munar. The King and Queen were given a guided tour of the new plant and shown how the new print press works. Little did they know, the newspaper which was being printed as they toured the seven-storey plant was a surprise special edition with the picture of their arrival at the press, just 15 minutes earlier, on the front page. Prior to the King officially setting the press in motion, the Bishop of Majorca, Teodoro Ubeda, blessed the new plant and stressed the importance of communication and making it easier to distribute free speech and opinions, the truth behind the stories, knowledge, culture, entertainment and draw attention to the ills of society which in turn helps to provide a better service for the community. Balearic President Francesc Antich said that it is very important and most satisfactory to see a local company advancing and investing in the future, it makes everybody in the Balearics very happy. Secretary of State for the Environment, Jaume Matas, said an investment of this kind by any company deserves our whole hearted support, and congratulated the Grup Serra for having embarked on such an innovative project. The King and Queen showed a great deal of interest in the technologically advanced workings of the new print press as staff took the royals through each and every stage of printing a newspaper. After the official inauguration ceremony, the King and Queen spoke to many of the guests present and before finally departing to rapturous applause from all the employees, the King and Queen posed for a picture with all the staff and directors of the company.