THE Balearic Islands yesterday received two new methods of communication for the region, IB3 Radio which began its services yesterday morning and IB3 Television, which started its programmes yesterday afternoon and offered special inauguration programmes, both also helped to celebrate the National Balearic Islands Day.
The Leader of the Balearic Government, Jaume Matas, presided at the inauguration events of the Balearic Island TV and Radio stations. It was indeed Jaume Matas who started the ball rolling for the creation of a Balearic Island TV and radio station, as he wanted to break the social and cultural barriers that the islands suffer because of their fragmented locations. He also said he wanted to model the TV station along the lines of the BBC TV station.
The IB3 TV station, directed by María Umbert, will show news reports and will have a yearly budget of around 40 million euros. Approximately 7.5 million euros were invested to create the IB3 radio station, located on calle Manuel Azaña in Palma, and the TV station, located at the poligono Son Bugadelles.
The birth of these regional communication networks was started due to political confrontations, when opposition parties stated that the Government was denying residents the right to independent news reports and bilingual information. The chosen language for the stations is the Balearic Islands' Catalan.
The Leader of the Government visited the IB3 radio station offices at 11am yesterday and he was accompanied by many other leading figures, for example the Speaker of the Parliament, Pere Rotger, the President of the Council of Majorca, Maria Antonia Munar, the President of the High Court, Antoni Terrasa and regional Government members.
Matas unveiled the inauguration placard at the IB3 Radio Station and said that the radio station has a great chance of becoming successful and listened to by all, as, in his opinion, there is a distinct lack of local radio stations and the islands depend on the bigger radio networks.
The President of IB3, Maria Umbert, noted that the radio team will be distributed all over the islands and that 74 of them, 80 percent of those contracted, will work for the new public radio station under the management of Francisca Ramis.
Matas then visited the IB3 TV station yesterday afternoon at 1pm to officially open the building, which is 5'000 square metres and which will be the centre for around 600 people who will be working there when the station is up and running fully. Residents on the islands will not be able to fully appreciate the televison and workers' efforts until the channel regularly starts its programmes in September.
Around 1'200 people were invited to the IB3 TV station to take part in the official opening and Jaume Matas said that this new television station shows the wish of the Balearic Islands to become self-governing. He also wished that the TV station employees work with freedom, independence and confidence.