Staff Reporter

MESSAGES of reconciliation were the key note of the 28th anniversary celebration of the Spanish Constitution, in which Ramón Socias, the central government representative, called for respect between political parties and Jaume Matas, the Balearic leader, evaluated the degree of consensus achieved in the reform of the Balearic home rule statute.

Values such as respect, solidarity, peace and consensus were the key words in their speeches at the official commemoration held in the Gothic Room of the Almudaina Palace in Palma. It was a day in which the corruption scandal in Andratx and the tension it has caused between political parties over the past week was in the air.

Socías listed some of the values enshrined in the Spanish Constitution, with special emphasis on respect between persons, and between politicians in particular. He lamented the poor image which politicians have among the man in the street and said that in order to change this impression, parties had to respect each other.

He called on the political parties to win the respect of the electorate through mutual respect, and to achieve an “advance in quality in the democratic process based on values and principles.” Socías delivered his speech after six people who work on solidarity projects read various articles of the Constitution referring to citizen's rights and freedoms, such as work, health, protection and the integration of immigrants.

He also reflected on these rights and spoke of the need to put an end to domestic violence. He also cited the “opportunities” offered by immigration seen from the view of respect and cooperation with those who arrive from other countries.

Jaume Matas also reflected on shared values which, he said, “are more important than differences.” He spoke of the degree of consensus achieved over reforms to the home rule statute, and while admitting that “it had not been easy” the Balearics have achieved, among other things, more responsibilities and finance.

At the end of the act, Francesc Antich, secretary general of the Balearic Socialist Party, appraised Matas' speech, and the advances which changes to the home rule statute will bring, especially after the Partido Popular had announced that it wanted to modify the Constitution to restrict the development of home rule, a matter which he considered cause for concern.

Among those present at the ceremony were Maria Antonia Munar, president of the Council of Majorca, who sat at the presidential table with Matas and Socías, Pere Rotger, the parliamentary Speaker, and Catalina Cirer, the Mayor of Palma, among other authorities.


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