The Regional Minister of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Sustainable Development, Carmen Crespo, has appealed for “unity” to “face the complicated challenges” that the province has ahead on the occasion of the celebration of Andalusia Day in Almeria. During the solemn ceremony held at the Cultural Centre of Adra, the representative of the Andalusian Government showed the “pride that the thirteen recipients of this year’s Andalusian Flags represent for this land” for their dedication, effort, dedication and solidarity.
Crespo defended that “the traditions of Andalusia are of vital importance to make Andalusianism better” and that a very important part of society “wants to live in a rural world that is increasingly more alive and we all have to support it”. In this sense, he pointed out that “overprotecting forest areas is a mistake” and stressed that Andalusian villages must coexist with sustainable hunting, forestry, grazing, extensive livestock farming and all our traditions”.
He also remembered the Ukrainian people who are “helpless” in the face of Russia’s attack: “In situations that are out of place in the 21st century, such as the one the Ukrainians are experiencing, we must always carry the banner of ‘no to war’. We realise that we can lose everything in a moment”. However, she did not want to finish without launching a message of hope and illusion, quoting the journalist Carmen de Burgos: “The future belongs to us”.
The delegate of the Andalusian Government in Almería, Maribel Sánchez Torregrosa, stressed that “today is a day to feel proud of the people, companies and institutions that have been awarded for their daily work, their effort and their ability to overcome”. Torregrosa stated that “there are thirteen awards that make our land greater thanks to their commitment to Almería”. He also highlighted “the Andalusian government’s commitment to the province with significant investments in health, education, agriculture and infrastructure”.
Adra, the oldest city in Andalusia
For his part, the Mayor of Adra, Manuel Cortés, thanked the Junta for Adra, “the oldest city in Andalusia,” having been the backdrop for this event in which “we show our pride in our land”, a place “noted for its climate, culture and history, its art and gastronomy, but above all, for our main heritage, human quality”, he said.
And in this Andalusia “which is, today, a land in expansion”, from Adra Town Hall “we have the vocation and commitment to work to contribute to its strengthening”. The mayor explained the “large-scale” projects and other “local” day-to-day projects that are being developed in the millenary city, in order for Adra to continue to be “one of the most prosperous and thriving municipalities with the best quality of life”.
Carmen Crespo highlighted the monumental, artistic and social wealth of Adra, “a 3,000 year old millenary city”. The councillor said she was “very proud of my municipality and my province”, and went over some of Almería’s best known attractions, such as Cabo de Gata, the Alpujarra, the region of Los Vélez, its beaches, the Natural Monument of the Geode of Pulpí and, of course, important economic sectors such as marble and the agri-food industry.
Carmen Crespo pointed out that “there was a debt with Almería, especially from the Junta de Andalucía for many years” and highlighted that “with effort, Andalusia is being brought closer to this great province, which increasingly feels more and more Andalusian”.
Andalusian Flags in the province of Almeria
Among the award winners in the province of Almeria are the Andalusian Association of Secondary School Principals ‘Adían’ and the Andalusian Association of Headmasters and Headmistresses of Infant, Primary and Residential Schools ‘Asadripe’, who have been awarded the Flag of Social Sciences and Literature in recognition of the challenge that the pandemic has posed for teachers.
The Andalusian Flag for Sport was awarded to the Clásica de Almería, a top-level international sporting event which is one of only two professional cycling races held in Andalusia and one of only 17 on the professional calendar in Spain. On the other hand, the Andalusian Flag of Arts has been awarded to Laura Diepstraten García, singer, pianist and composer born in Pulpí. Among other merits, this young woman from Almeria has won the first edition of the International Low Vision Song Contest, known as the Eurovision Song Contest for blind artists.
In addition, the Illustrious Provincial College of Lawyers of Almeria and the Illustrious College of Solicitors of Almeria have been awarded the Andalusian Flag of Solidarity and Concord for being two fundamental pillars of this public service; and Pilar Martínez-Cosentino Alfonso, born in Macael, has received the Andalusian Flag for the Projection of the Province. With a degree in Law and Business Legal Consultancy from the Universidad Pontificia de Comillas (Icade) in Madrid and an MBA from the Instituto de Empresa, she has been executive vice-president of the Cosentino Group since 2015.
As for the Andalusian Flag for Research, Science and Health, this distinction was awarded to Miguel Ángel Arráez Sánchez, founder of the Arráez Institute of Advanced Neurosurgery and a national pioneer in techniques such as fluorescence-guided resection of brain tumours; and the Andalusian Flag in recognition of a special career was received by Manuel Ruiz Valdivia, ‘Ruiz Manuel’, for his work as director of the Bullfighting School of Almería.
In addition to these awards, the Andalusian Flag for Environmental Merit was awarded to Campojoyma, a leading organisation in the organic vegetable production sector in Spain; and the Andalusian Flag for Human Values was awarded to the Sara Allut Plata Association, which directly helps children and women in situations of extreme poverty, illness and abandonment who live in the poorest countries in the world.
For its part, the Organisation of Fishing Producers of Adra (OPP-84) was awarded the Andalusian Flag for Economy and Business for the work they carry out to find solutions to the demands of the local fishing sector, mainly in the promotion of sustainable fishing for members, the identification and traceability of products and the improvement of their economic profitability.
Finally, the Andalusian Flag of Economy and Enterprise has been awarded this year to the alhóndiga La Unión, an agri-food company from Almeria that has promoted the first plant in Europe for freezing fresh fruit and vegetables.