24-02-2016R.L.

It is Balearics Day on 1 March, a date that commemorates the day in 1983 when the Balearic Statute of Autonomy came into effect. The regional government has announced a programme of events for the occasion that it hopes will strengthen a "Balearic identity". This is the political message for this year's celebration, the first one that the current administration has organised.

The programme includes events across the four islands and has an increased budget this year of 265,000 euros (15,000 more than last year).

Participation is one of the key aims of the organising committee. It has scheduled events that range from culinary competitions to guided tours, sporting activities, concerts, poetry, mediaeval markets (a classic feature of the celebration) and exhibitions of products from the different islands. In addition to the islands, eleven municipalities are also staging events.

There are also to be political and institutional acts, i.e. the awarding of the regions' Gold Medal and Ramon Llull prizes on 29 February as well as the reception in parliament in 1 March.

This year the ceremony for the awards is shifting venue from La Lonja to the Teatre Principal. This is one of the contributions by the Council of Majorca, which together with the other island councils has more of a role this year, and will also inaugurate the "new approach" that the government wants to give to La Lonja. This is to no longer hold exhibitions but will remain open as a place to be visited and enjoyed for its Gothic architecture. During open-doors days for the celebrations, a visit to La Lonja will also be included. Parliament will also be open to the public.

Rail services will be free on 1 March, which is a public holiday. The idea is to facilitate more participation in the events, and in addition to the island councils and certain town halls, various associations and private organisations are also involved in the organisation of these events.


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