Among many representatives from the main European media organisations and unions, Anthony Bellanger attended in the name of IFJ this historic inauguration at number 9 of Rúa Nova. The president of the Spanish Journalists Federation (FAPE), Miguel Ángel Noceda and the APSC president and directive member of the FIP, Luis Menéndez were present to lead the event. Different nationalities were in attendance as well to provide their support: the general secretary of the National Federation of the Italian press (FNSI), Rafaele Lorusso, the Brussels Press Club Director, Laurent Brihay and the Portugal Journalists Syndicate's vice president, Ana Isabel Costa.
The newly created centre features an assembly hall, two annexes and a large office space for journalists. The APSC will run the different activities of the centre and establish its head office there. The facilities will have a public relations and tourist orientation department along with equipment for administration tasks, IT, editing, sound recording, simultaneous translation and video interpretation, among others. More generally, this International Press Centre intends to work and provide support in favour of freedom of speech, plurality and independence of media.
In his speech, Anthony Bellanger celebrated the accomplishment and synergy embodied by the creation of this International Press Centre. According to him: “The International Press Centre of Galicia in Santiago is a good example for all journalists in the world as it brings together all the forces of the profession. It is the result of the collective work of my friend Luis Menéndez (who has just been elected a member of the IFJ Executive Committee at our last IFJ World Congress in Muscat, Oman) of the hard work and effort of the Santiago Journalists' Association.”
In the spirit of the IFJ's work for solidarity and strengthening global relations between unions and journalists, the IFJ General Secretary wished this centre a future rich in connections and encounters within the world of journalism, with some opportunities to host IFJ events in the future.
He also expressed his concern for the local media situation and the relevance of building an International Press Center in the current context:
"This inauguration and my presence today in Santiago is also an appeal to the public authorities and administrations of Galicia to safeguard the freedom of the press and the protection of journalists, without censorship, manipulation or precariousness. We are also here to study and look for solutions for journalists in Galicia, who we know suffer from many problems.
Anthony Bellanger concluded his inaugural speech by stressing the necessity of having access to quality information and independent journalism to guarantee democracy and informed citizens. His last words were to congratulate Luis Menéndez for creating such a place benefiting all the journalists of Galicia, Spain and the rest of the world.
Dominique Pradalié, President of the IFJ, also sent her congratulations on this inauguration.
The inauguration through the eyes of the local press: