ANDALUCIA celebrates 30 years of being an autonomous region today.

It is now enjoying a day of regional holiday as Andalucians bask in the long-awaited sunshine that is engulfing much of the area.

The landmark date was honoured in fine style with an awards ceremony held in the Maestranza Theatre in Sevilla.

Malaga singer Pasion Vega and flamenco diva Jose Merce were awarded the Andalucia Medal at the prestigious occasion.

Speaking at the event Junta president Jose Antonio Grinan vowed to focus the government’s efforts on overcoming the recession and creating employment.

He added that officials should concentrate on creating a more sustainable economy that would stand up to future shocks better.

Others medal winners were Andalucía high court president, Augusto Méndez de Lugo, philosopher Gregorio Salvador and sculptor Miguel Fuentes del Olmo.

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