Mayor Joan Fageda and Pedro Alvarez, the head of the municipal bus company EMT, attended the departure of the first four vehicles of the Solidarity Bus campaign yesterday. The buses have set sail, loaded with spare parts, school material, clothing and toys, all of which have been donated. They are due to reach the port of Thessalonica in Greece on or about September 15, and will then be driven 400 kilometres overland, through Macedonia to Kosovo. They will have an escort of Spanish Legionnaires. Mayor Fageda said that it gave him great satisfaction to see this project get underway, adding that it “sends the spirit of solidarity of Palma residents to the needy.” Alvarez also praised the solidarity of local residents who had donated so much material. Pedro Sánchez is an EMT driver who is accompanying the buses. He volunteered for the job and in Kosovo will teach the new drivers how to look after the buses. The campaign was launched last July to give developing countries the EMT's old buses which are being withdrawn from service once the new fleet is incorporated. Although they are considered obsolete for Palma's needs, Alvarez said that they were good for another ten years ago. Other countries which will benefit from the campaign at a later date include the Gambia, Ukraine and Cuba, as well as the refugee camps of the Sahara.

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