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Beam me up, Senor

North Lanarkshire Council was pleased this week to play host to Sr Jaume Matas Palou, president de las Illes Balears - Majorca, Minorca and Ibiza to you and us.

He and an 11-strong party popped over to see the work being done by the council which has been steadily building up its contacts with the Balearics, through teacher and student exchanges, as more and more pupils seem to be turning to Spanish as their language of choice.

It was not all fun, however: the Spanish party took the opportunity to pay a visit to the Scottish Parliament. No doubt they wished to pay homage to a building which was, after all, the brainchild (ahem) of a Catalan architect. Diplomatic niceties, we are sure, prevented any in-depth discussion of ceilings, beams and bolts.

The municipal buildings in Coatbridge, to which they all repaired for an evening reception, presumably presented no such delicate moments.

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