Medals for eight ETA victims who live in the Balearic Islands

Balearic leader Francesc Antich, central environment minister Jaume Matas, and central government representative Catalina Cirer yesterday made a plea for unity among democrats in the fight against terrorism. They were speaking at a ceremony to honour eight victims of ETA (Basque guerrilla group) violence who live in the Balearic Islands. The act was organised by the government representative's office and was held outside its headquarters in Calle Constitución. The victims, José María Asorey, Pedro Coll, Vicente Hernando, Jesús Montero, Juan Antonio Muñoz, Bienvenido López, Eduardo José Villa and Bartolomé Salvá received decorations. In his speech, Antich said that the tribute, which coincided with similar acts in other parts of the country, meant “recognition for all those who fight day to day for freedom.” He said that the victims of terrorism were “an example of the value of liberty and tolerance.” He described the work of the security forces as “fundamental” in the fight against ETA and went on to say “unity is the only weapon democrats have to defeat terror.” Jaume Matas also made a plea for unity and said “the objective of terrorism is none other than an effort to destroy peace with the instruments of fear and terror to achieve a totalitarian power.” Catalina Cirer, who opened the ceremony, thanked the “generosity” of the victims for their presence, even though it meant recalling the pain.” After the medals were presented, Bartolomé Salvá expressed his pride that “Spain is functioning as she does,” and said that he was sure than an end would be put to terrorism. Salvá was injured in an ETA attack in Barcelona 17 years ago, and said that he did not want to recall it, but added that he was not afraid of anything “because they cannot cause more damage than what they have already done.” The ceremony was attended by the leading political and military authorities and representatives of the security forces.

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