Group of European Pensioners from Savings Banks and Financial Institutions


Index of documents > Euromeetings Magazine > Euromeetings Number 8

L ike every year, the Retired European Association has celebrated its annual general meeting. On the occasion of this celabration in may 2003, 460 participants coming from Spain, Portugal, Italy, United Kingdom, France, Belgium, Sweden and Germany met in Porto Cristo, Majorca.


The immense infrastructures of the residential complex “Punta Reina” located in Cala Mandia and the wonderful outskirts met all our needs.






Once more we saw the importance of a common basis for our objectives. Thanks to this element our association has been recognized and registered from the European Union in Bruxelles as a general interest association. There has also been an important increase in our participants.


AGE, on behalf of all the European pensioners in Bruxelles and group we are working with, deals with all the problems related to this sector, including the current state of European pensioners. 


The Italian gouvernment has changed ts pension funds system and the Italian ederation is prepared to take the case to he European Court if need be. Our Group expresses its solidarity with the italian colleagues.


During the annual general meeting, celebrated in Palma de Majorca, José Ramón Yébenes presented the  construction plan to build an old people’home, called “Mediterraneo Palace Club” in Beniarbeig, on the Costa Blanca, an exclusive geographical zone in the middle of gardens and orange fields. It will be located near the sea and there will be medical care all day. The 240 luxury flats which form the complex will meet all old people’s needs thanks to all the shops, restaurants, cultural shows and extra services at their disposal. This safe and luxurious environment expectes to meet old people’s needs and desires.





Our president José Roberto López, in his speech mentioned and thanked Francisco Bernabéu, José Lidón, José Barberá (rappresentante dei pensionati della CAM), Juan Daviu (Social Affair Director –Balearic Islands’ CAM– and on behalf of the general director (Roberto López Abad) and Dr   Llorenç Huguet Rotger (President the Balearic Islands’savings bank SA NOSTRA) for working with him. I greatly appreciate what they have done for all of us. The travel agency “Viajes Halcón” organized numerous tours around the sunny island of Majorca, the most popular tourist destination of the Mediterranean. Majorca, the biggest island of the archipelago put on two completely different scenery. The beach and “Sa Muntanya”, a 8 km mountain range stretches from the sudeast to Formentor, in the north. The tallest summit is Puig Mayor (1445 m). The island is rich in fertile fields, flowers growings irrigated by the abundant underground water that nowadays is exploited by means of windmills which pumps it outside.


A very interesting place is the cave created by the underground water. Las “Cuevas de Artá”, whose name comes from the ancient village located in the middle of the island, sent a perfect example. The entrance is located in the overhanging rock, as the dark door of hell. The wonderful breadth of the caves rich in coloured stalactites and stalagmites standed out by the striking multicoloured lighting is really amazing. The tallest stalactite is 20 metres high (the Queen of Columns).


 Coming back to Manacor we visited the Tower dels Enagistes, a unique example of the majorical architecture of the XIV century. The structure consists in rectangular blocks placed round the internal courtyard. In the adjacent historical museum we could contemplate various archaeological and ethnographic collections such as specimens from mountaineers’ exhumations, a big room decorated with period furniture and miniatures and a spectacular mosaic from Son Peretó basilica.

Manacor has almost 27.000 inhabitants and it is the second biggest town of the island. The old craft tradition is nowadays successful thanks to the furniture manufacture, pottery and artificial pearls. The majorical pearls are famous throughout the world. We did not let the opportunity slip through our fingers and we saw the pearl production process in a real factory: the pearl core is covered with layered fish scales. Althogh these articial pearls and the natural ones are very similar, the difference in price is considerable. In the shop outside we could buy some pearls.In the following tour we visited an ancient roman town called Pollentia, belonging to Alcudia, a town council in the north-west. It was founded in 70 B.C and walking round the different parts of the archaeological complex we could understand how the ancient roman population lived.

From Mirador de Formentor we had a panoramic view of the blue sea crushed into the cliffs. From here the roads spread insidiously to the valley, from the famous hotel Formentor as far as the seaport. With a little ship we sailed along a rocky and sunny coast as far as Port de Pollença.


 After a short break we wento to the restaurant “Cases Son San Marti”, a restored country house where an attentive waiter served us the traditional majorical sucking pig accompained wih red wine and other delicious dishes.


In the afternoon, satisfied with the meal, we visited the third biggest town of Majorca, Inca, in the middle of the island where ve visited a leather factory.

The following day we crossed Villafranca, widely known for its fruit trees and vegetable plantations and we reached Valldemossa mountains to visit a monastery called “La Cartuja”, an old chemist’s with a fantastic library and big gardens. In 1835, because of political reasons, all monks who have been living and working in the monastery were thrown out. All cells became hired rooms and, during the winter 1938/1939, the cell number 2 turn into the hotbed where the composer Frederic Chopin and the famous french writer George Sand lived a tragic-romantic and, in those days, also candalous love story. Nowadays we know evey detail of his stay here thanks to a book written by George Sand, “Winter in Majorca”. Frederic Chopin, in spite of tuberculosis, composed on of his best marsterpieces in Valdemossa. 

Here a young pianist welcomed us with a fantastic performance by the famous musician. In the same place we found the only Saint of the island, Catalina Thomas. Her pious style of life boosts expression of her life in the village where she was born. In almost every house we can contemplate antique figurines and prayers such as “Santa Catalina Thomas pregau per nosaltres” –Saint Catalina Thomas pray for us–.

It was unbearably hot but we gathered all our strengths to visit a crystal factory in Algaida belonging to Gordiola family. In the museum we admired the traditional crystal production of every age and every region and we got the chance to buy some pieces from the crystal and pottery exhibition. The Euromeeting concluded with a delightful visit of the capital, Palma de Majorca, also called “the Mediterranean pearl” and the castle Bellver. Almost two thirds of the population of the island lives in Palma.

2000 years ago the young people of Majorca were famous for their shields and their skill with weapons. Even the Roman legionnaires were afraid of them. We walked to Plaça de la Reina, to the sculpture, as far as the most famous monument of Majorca, the striking cathedral. According to the legend the King James I arrived to Majorca in 1229 during a heavy storm. At death’s door, he promised the Blessed Virgin that if she had saved him he would have erected a new chirch to profess the Catholic faith. He survived ad he decided to put it up. It is one of the biggest Gothic constructions with decorative façades, arcades, arches and buttresses. In spite of being thin and tall the few columns bear the all structure. We were fascinated by the sunlight through the stained-glass windows and the rose windows. In the capital room and in the vestry there is a little museum with relics, jewel cases, gold crosses and chalices.

 The insuperable and enormous Bellver castle stands out from the island. The fortification, which dates from the XIV century, is located at an altitude of 137 metres in the middle of an inmense pine wood. It was the summer residence of the majorical king and afterwards a prison. The premises had two entrances and its rooms, some of whom were a museum, overlook the courtyard. From the top we could observe Palma de Majorca and its bay. After the meal in the conference centre located in the characteristic “Pueblo Español” our day ended.


We would like to thank the organization and the travel agency Viajes Halcón for organizing such a fantastic programm and the interpreters for the work they had done in spite of the difficulty of the task. We greet our Portuguese friends and ANAC for inviting us to the annual general meeting in Lisbon.

If we pull together our dream and our aims will come true in spite of the disagreements within the
European Union

The German group looks forward to the next Euromeeting.

See you soon!


Ruth Rebert y Christa Saia (Düsseldorf)