OUTRAGE spilled out onto the streets of the Balearic Islands yesterday, in protest against the Basque Terrorist attack on two plain-clothed policemen in France last weekend, resulting in the death of one of them.

Politicians, leading institutional figures and ordinary citizens gathered at midday at various points across the region to demonstrate, with a five-minute silence, their complete condemnation of the shooting which left a second member of the Guardia Civil seriously wounded.

Some 250 residents and politicians amassed in Plaza Cort in Palma outside the seat of the City Council, a scene repeated in towns and villages across the Islands. Other major protests were held outside the offices of the Central Government delegation in Palma as well as on the Balearic University campus. At Plaza Cort, the city's mayoress, Aina Calvo and Council of Majorca president Francina Armengol led the act of silent disapproval expressing solidarity with the families of the dead and injured men. A wider implication of the demonstration was support for Spain's state forces in their battle against ETA's resumed policy of violence, with previous Palma mayoress Catalina Cirer saying that “there can be no dialogue with terrorists who murder indiscriminately to suit their own ends.” Divisions at a national level between Socialists and the Opposition centre-right had recently intensified due to the alleged willingness of the government to talk directly to ETA. Socialist government spokesman Najera said that although not all senior members of government were present in Plaza Cort due to their attendance at a Euroregion conference in Toulouse, all those that could had joined the group to express their revulsion at the attack. A Council of Majorca meeting was interrupted yesterday so that participants could attend the demonstration. Prior to midday, a regional decree had been issued condemning ETA's crimes and declaring that democratic institutions would never give in to the murderous policies of the terrorists.


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