At the annual military parade in Palma yesterday, the commander-in-chief in the Balearics, Juan Cifuentes, made special mention of the jihadist threat. "It is one of the main security problems that we all face and it showed its brutality in Barcelona."
He emphasised the important role that the armed forces play both inside and outside Spanish borders in preventing and resolving conflicts, and drew attention to actions in Africa and in countries with the greatest interest in containing jihadism.
Specific to the Balearics, Cifuentes spoke about the Balearic vigilance plan, the number of foreign naval ships that came to the Balearics last year (among them the USS Bataan aircraft carrier) and the close collaboration with the Council of Majorca regarding the archaeological charter for the Cabrera archipelago.
He referred to air search and rescue missions in support of the coastguard and emergency services operations and made a point about the role of the Guardia Civil's maritime service in Formentera, which has contributed to the protection of posidonia sea grass meadows. Other mentions went to the fact that ninety people who had arrived in small boats (illegal immigrants) were rescued last year and to the dismantling of a criminal group responsible for multiple robberies in Majorca.
Cifuentes highlighted the role of the media, thanking it for its support and for the respect shown towards the armed forces.
The national government delegate in the Balearics, Maria Salom, said that yesterday was a celebration of the work done by the army. On behalf of the people of the Balearics, she offered her thanks, adding that the parade was recognition of the "great professionals" in the force.
Among others attending were the president of the Balearic parliament, Baltasar Picornell, and the rector of the University of the Balearic Islands, Llorenç Huguet.
The 6 January celebration was introduced in 1782 by Carlos III as a gesture of appreciation following the recovery of Minorca for the Spanish crown.
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