President Armengol speaking on Monday evening. | Jaume Morey

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On Monday evening, the Balearic government held its official event to mark Balearics Day (March 1).

President Armengol told the audience at La Lonja in Palma that 2022 will be "the year of recovery, the year of building together decades of prosperity, and the year of our islands".

Armengol observed that this year's celebrations were against a background that was close to normality after the pandemic, noting, however, that masks are still mandatory indoors. But her first words concerned Ukraine.

She spoke of "the pain of the return of war to Europe". "We are dismayed by the violence and loss of life and are concerned by the threat of Russian aggression to the values ​​that sustain Europe, which has experienced decades of prosperity in peace, democracy and freedom."

Linking the pandemic and the war, the president said that "together we have been able  to face up to defeat the threat of the virus". "With our public welfare network, our businesses, our workers, we will overcome any challenge."

Referring to her period as president, Armengol said that over the seven years there has been "solid and lasting consensus". "Agreements have given us light and stability in the worst moments and now allow us to look to the future with a programme of reform and progress for everyone."

The annual event is marked by the awarding of Balearic Gold Medals and Ramon Llull Prizes. One gold medal was posthumous - Maria Antonia Oliver, a writer from Manacor and a representative of the Generation of the 1970s. The other gold medal was for Elies Torres, an Ibizan architect and winner of the National Prize for Architecture.

Among the Ramon Llull Prizes was one for Virginia Torrecilla from Cala Millor. Capped 66 times for Spain's women's national team, she has returned to playing after overcoming a brain tumour.