Palma.—Central Government delegate in the Balearic Islands, Teresa Palmer gave a speech on the occasion at the Almudaina in Palma, describing the Guardia Civil as the “backbone” of the State, and the means by which the rule of government law is ensured throughout the country. “Not only are you guardians of democracy, liberty and justice but you are much, much more,” said Palmer. She praised the Guardia Civil for continuing to act with commitment at a time of biting financial crisis. “Despite the restrictions being placed on you, society acknowledges that you have upheld standards and values.” Palmer said that she was sure that the armed force deserved much more than they were currently receiving, alluding to the fact that the tourist community in the Balearics enjoyed a high standard of safety thanks to the vigilance of the Guardia Civil. During her speech Palmer paid tribute to the two members of the Guardia Civil, Diego Salvá and Carlos Sáenz de Tejada who had given their lives two years ago in an ETA terrorist attack so that people in the Balearics might live in peace .

Attending the celebration yesterday were the President of the Balearic government, José Ramón Bauzá who decorated many officers and paid homage to serving members of the Guardia Civil who were now retired.

A speech was also given by the Colonel in Chief of the Balearic Guardia Civil Command, Basilio Sanchez Rufo. He said that the whole of Spain was watching the Guardia Civil and that if “mistakes were made,” they tarnished the image of colleagues in the force and the good reputation of the Guardia Civil as a whole.

Sanchez Rufo highlighted the values of the force, “honour, loyalty and sacrifice,” and urged officers to fulfill the standards required of them.
Rufo said that during the last year, the Guardia Civil had broken up 14 drug trafficking gangs in the Balearics and had carried out 120 air sea rescues. He pointed to the work the Guardia had carried out in collaboration with National and Local Police forces and in catching arsonists responsible for starting fires this summer on Majorca and Minorca.

The ceremony ended with a Mass in Palma cathedral.