Group of European Pensioners from Savings Banks and Financial Institutions


Index of documents > Euromeetings Magazine > Euromeetings Number 4





THIS year we have again made it possible for more than 400 people from Spain, Portugal, France, Belgium, Italy, England and Germany to meet from the 2nd to the 10th of May 1999 at another Euromeeting on the Costa Blanca.


With our greatest recognition we inform that on that date the International Conference 'A society for all ages' was taking place at Alicante. One sees from this that the Spanish society thinks of the elder generation's interests.


The German delegation regretted the fact that the Euromeeting participants had to be lodged in three different hotels, which made it more difficult for the European members to communicate, although the possibility to change hotels during the International Conference was also offered.


The Conference held its meetings in the facilities of the Caja de Ahorros' Congress Hall, whose president Mr. Vicente Sala Botella welcomed the participants offering himself personally and on behalf of his Institution. The Conference was presided by Dr. Maria Asuncion Martinez of Alicante University who did her work perfectly. Well known professors and important figures from Spain and other countries such as Alan Walker of Sheffield University (Great Britain) dealt with the following subjects among others:


• The concept of retirement in a changing society.

• The elderly people and economy.

• The role of culture in international relations.

• Elderly people and labour policies.

• Women in posts of representation, intergenerational relations and the role of the family.



Mr Francisco Bernabeu emphasised the importance of the creation of a European Intergenerational Cultural Foundation with a view to a latter expansion, because with a productive cultural exchange between young and elderly people a better understanding and tolerance may be obtained amongst them. Our aim will then be to summon many young people for the project, in order to promote solidarity amongst generations with the most efficiency.


The Savings Bank of the Mediterranean, and other entities encourage the project, and the UNESCO suggests the creation of a continuous programme to solve and get rid of elderly people's social problems in all European countries.


At the Conference's closing ceremony, a declaration was presented to Mr. José Antonio de Mesa, representative of the UNESCO, in order to give it legal course.


In the sessions we saw the small participation of women from other European countries, and for this reason we call to a bigger co-operation in the future. It is worth the effort to fight for the women's future.


We Germans are always suprised at and interested in the Spanish culture and lifestyle. Thanks to the Mediterranean climate we were able to enjoy a pleasant stay in the Autonomous Region of Valencia.


The view of the town and reservoir of Guadalest, which is accessible only through an entrance carved in the rock, brings back to us unforgettable sensations. The town, that has been declared a monument of artistic historical interest, is divided into two areas. The medieval castle leans bravely from a rock. A great number of shops offer the visitors many craftworks, and it is also worth visiting a miniature museum and the museum-house of Orduna.


Another excursion took us to the city of Murcia, founded by the Arabs. At the cathedral we were suprised by the choir, surrounded by a spectacular gothic railing, the paintings of Lucas Jordan and the sculptures of Salzillo. One should pay special attention to the Arab interior of the Casino, crowned by a great crystal and iron sphere. In some parts, European and Oriental styles are mixed. In the rooms of the Salzillo Museum we admired the representation of the Birth of Christ, and the most important figures in the life of Christ sculpted by the famous baroque artist. After enjoying the cultural visit, we enjoyed a typical Mediterranean meal at the Karting restaurant, appreciating specially the wine of the region.


The more than 250.000 palm trees of the town of Elche form the fresh miracle of 'El Palmeral'. The decisive point of the excursion was the representation of the 'Misteri d'Elx' in the basilica of Holy Mary. The Misteri is the only ascendant representation that still exists since the Middle Ages. The representation takes place every 14th and 15th of August.


In Calpe, remembering Hemingway, we marvelled at the famous Rock of Ifach and bought souvenirs at the port.


We also visited Altea, town of artists and craftsmen, and Orihuela, with the ancient university, the museum dedicated to the Holy Week, the cathedral and its museum, as well as the church of Santiago.


The entertaining party at the S'cote restaurant in the port, the pleasure of the excellent bar snacks in the castle of Santa Barbara and the lunch in the magnificent Residence Perez Mateos in SAN Juan, contributed to consolidate the friendship between the participants.


In the name of the German delegation, we express our thanks to Mr. José Lidón and to his daughter Cristina, to the team of Barcelo Travel Agency and its interpreters and our colleagues of CAM.


They were unforgettable days and we will be glad to come back and meet each other next year.



Ruth Rebert and Christa Saia (Düsseldorf)