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Areas General Services Presidency Formentera salutes essential service workers of island

Formentera salutes essential service workers of island

foto 2020 Diada 3In official celebrations today for the Diada de Formentera (Formentera Day), the island honoured the efforts of workers who assured essential services during the state of emergency. The celebration, which historically sees the distribution of Medalla d’Or (Gold Medal) and Sant Jaume awards, was specially adapted for this most unique of years in light of the crisis stemming from covid-19.

The gathering took shape at Sant Francesc’s Plaça de la Constitució under the watch of Andreu Ferrer, who gave an overview of events since the start of the coronavirus crisis. A short video reminded the audience of confinement, a time when nearly all Formentera stayed home.

In an address to the crowd, Consell de Formentera president Alejandra Ferrer applauded the work of the island’s essential workers. “Today we pay public, official tribute to those who didn’t give up the fight — whether because they couldn’t, or simply because they chose not to. We pay tribute to those who kept us healthy and safe. Those who are still, lest we forget, fighting the fight against covid-19 each passing day”, said the President.

Ferrer underscored the sense of responsibility displayed by islanders, and pleaded with them to keep it up: “We can’t let our guard down. We mustn’t live in fear, but we’ve got to be respectful and responsible: the wellbeing of the individual bears upon the wellbeing of the collective”.

“This crisis has forced us to appreciate what we have, and it’s brought into focus our strengths. But let’s be honest, it also shed light on our blindspots and failings, revealed our increasingly fragile social harmony and laid bare the importance of diversification if we want stability and opportunities for all”. She pledged continued efforts from within government to reduce the toll of successive public health and economic crises on Formentera residents, and promised the Consell’s assistance to all those affected.

“This summer is going to be difficult and for many families winter might be even worse”, Ferrer conceded, “But we’re convinced that islanders will once again show their penchant for organisation and teamwork. That each one of us will continue doing their part for an island and a society that we believe in, where sustainability is key. A richer island, and one with more opportunities. An example of economic growth and universal protection for people. An example of an island where people watch out for each other and no one is left behind”.

Minute of silence
After speaking the President led a moment of silence in memory of all the victims claimed by the pandemic. Pianist and composer José Jaime Hidalgo led the celebration’s crowning moment, performing three pieces that evoked the purifying elements of wind, water and fire: Isaac Albéniz’s Granada, Ariel Ramírez’s Alfonsina y el mar and Manuel de Falla’s Danza Ritual.

Also in attendance were Balearic premiere Francina Armengol, presidential minister Pilar Costa, Formentera consellers and other figures of authority, not to mention representatives of essential service workers who were active during the pandemic. Public health standards required the event be kept to a limited capacity. The ceremony was broadcast live on the Consell de Formentera YouTube channel and is available here.

24 July 2020
Department of Communications
Consell de Formentera


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