At Sunday's event for Balearics Day. | Efe

On Sunday, and to mark Balearics Day on Monday, President Armengol expressed her thanks for all that has been done by "thousands" of professionals, businesses and essential sectors. "They have supported the key mechanisms that have enabled this society to resist the pandemic. For which we thank them once again." They have been the "muscle of this resistant and tenacious society".

Armengol was speaking at the government's event at La Lonja in Palma. She said that "today it is clearer than ever that we are a strong people". The people of the Balearics have learned "three great lessons" as a result of the health and economic crisis. Firstly, that the government's plan prior to the pandemic to promote a "more egalitarian and fairer" society, an economy with higher quality employment and a more environmentally friendly model of growth remains valid.

Secondly, that the pandemic has caused a "rapid growth in poverty and inequality", which is why it is necessary to reinforce the welfare state, redouble the commitment to quality training and employment, and "deepen a more redistributive and fairer economy". Thirdly, the pandemic has highlighted like never before the structural deficiencies that the Balearic Islands have suffered for "too many decades", such as the "excessive" dependence on the tourism sector and the delay in diversification through technology, research and innovation.

The pandemic, she added, offers the solution. Armengol drew attention to the "unprecedented" European response and the forthcoming distribution of European funds that should be "the catalyst for diversification, modernisation, and transition towards a more sustainable, egalitarian and cohesive Balearic society”. "The future is in our hands. The virus can hurt us and make us suffer. It can steal lives and bring tears. It can threaten our projects and cast doubt on our hopes. But it will not be able to defeat us. It will not be able to impose itself, it cannot prevent that next year, when we return here and look back, we can say that together we beat coronavirus."

The government's Gold Medal, the regional community's highest distinction, went to all health workers for the efforts they have made. The government wished to recognise many others and sacrifices made in the face of an unprecedented challenge. Ramon Llull Prizes were therefore awarded to the educational community; residents of nursing homes and workers; cleaners; supermarket workers; companies providing other essential services such as freight transport. Public and private security forces were honoured, as were farmers and fishermen, social services' professionals and volunteers, the cultural sector, and businesspeople who converted their activities in response to needs created by the health emergency.