Thursday, 24 December 2015
King Felipe of Spain's Christmas Eve Speech - English Translation
On this Christmas Eve, I want to wish you, along with the Queen and our daughters, Princess Leonor and Infanta Sofia, a very happy holidays and all the best wishes for the new year.
I wish that understanding and brotherly spirit, so typical of these days, is always present in our society.
Tonight, I speak to you from the Royal Palace, where the Crown celebrates acts of state in which we express with the utmost dignity and solemnity, the grandeur of Spain.
This palace is all Spanish and is a symbol of our history that is open to all citizens who want to know and understand our past. On their roofs, in walls, paintings and tapestries, in short, in all its assets, centuries of common history is collected.
And that history certainly must be know and remember because it helps us understand our present and shape our future and also allows us to better appreciate our successes and our mistakes; because history also defines and explains our identity over time.
I sincerely believe that today we live in times where it is more necessary than ever to recognize all that unites us. You need to value what we have built together over the years with many great sacrifices, but also with enormous generosity and dedication. It is necessary to praise all that we are, what makes us feel like Spanish. In my speech I said at my proclamation, Spain constitution fit all the feelings and sensitivities, fit the different ways of being Spanish; to be and to feel part of the same political and social community, the same historical, current and future, as it represents our nation's reality.
A great nation defined by a culture that has transcended time and borders, the arts and universal literature; enriched by our common language, along with the other languages of Spain, which also explain our identity.
A country which over the centuries have woven thinkers, scientists, artists, and so many men and women, many of whom have given their lives for Spain.
And it's also a great state, whose strength is based today in a set of constitutional values we share and common rules of coexistence that bring us together and unite us; a state that recognizes our diversity in the self-government of our nations and regions; and has respect for the democratic will of the Spanish people, expressed through the law, the foundation of our life in freedom.
With these reasons, and sharing these sentiments, we honor our history, which we are all players of today and whose legacy we have the responsibility to administer; to strengthen our national's cohesion, it is essential to boost our political, civic and moral progress; to promote our common project of coexistence. For now, what should matter to everyone, first and foremost, is the general interest of Spain and the Spanish.
After the general elections held on the 20th, and as always after each renewal of the Congress of Deputies and the Senate, the procedure laid down in our Constitution for the governance of our country begins.
In a constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democratic regime like ours, the Parliament, as depositary of national sovereignty, are the holders of decision-making on matters that concern and affect all the Spaniards, are seated where, after debate and dialogue between political forces, must address and decide on key issues of national life.
Political pluralism, expressed at the polls, certainly provides sensitivities, visions and perspectives; and it involves a form of exercise based on political dialogue, consultation and compromise, in order to make the best decisions to solve the problems of citizens.
Spain begins a new legislature that requires all efforts, all the energy, all the wishes of our democratic institutions, to ensure and consolidate what has been achieved over the past decades our political progress and adapt to the reality of Spanish society today. This dynamic institutions works at the same pace of the Spanish people they serve and represent; and are sensitive to the demands of rigor, honesty and integrity that are demanded by citizens.
Spain today is very different from Spain centuries ago through a genuine desire for understanding and generous for all Spaniards, a sincere spirit of reconciliation and overcoming of our historical differences and a commitment to political and social forces to service the entire people, the general interests of the nation, which must always be foremost. This is the great lesson of our recent history that we must never forget.
We must not forget that breaking the law, the imposition of an idea or a project about the will of the other Spanish, has only led us in our history to decay, impoverishment and isolation. That is a mistake of our past that we must not to repeat.
Our path is now, unwavering, the way of understanding, coexistence and harmony in democracy and freedom. Therefore, respect our constitutional order to defend democratic coexistence approved by all the Spanish people; to defend the rights and freedoms of all citizens and also to defend our cultural and territorial diversity.
So, tonight I want to reiterate a message of serenity, tranquility and confidence in the unity and continuity of Spain; a safety message most importantly and defend our Constitution.
I would also like to convey a message of hope that the calm reflection, sincere and loyal contrasting opinions, and respect for both the present and our history, like the intimate community of affections and interests among all Spaniards, feed the validity of our best constitutional spirit.
Moreover, the improvement in the economy is a priority for everyone. I think all the institutions have a duty to citizens, families and especially younger ones, so they can recover what should never be missed: the peace and stability with which to face the future and enthusiasm for tomorrow. We all want sustainable economic growth. A growth that would continue to create jobs and worthy employment, strengthen essential public services such as health and education, and that would reduce inequalities, exacerbated by the harshness of the economic crisis.
Europe is undoubtedly another of our great realities, but also with great challenges in their midst. We have all felt the indignation and horror at the attacks which have cost the lives of our compatriots, to the terrible crimes in Paris and elsewhere, which are genuine attacks on our model of coexistence and the most basic human values. And we have all moved by the drama of the refugees coming to our borders fleeing war, or of distressed and poverty-stricken migrants.
Faced with these challenges, and many others such as the fight against climate change, it is necessary that Spain's voice is heard in the European Union and international institutions in everything that affects our convictions and our vital interests. Because today's world requires strong nations, responsible, united, connected and loyal to its commitments to its partners and allies and the entire international community.
Finally, I do not want to say goodbye tonight without saying, with conviction, as Spaniards today, it is our duty to continue writing the story of our time and as we have already done:
Counting all men and women, young and old, born here or else where; working all at once, without anyone fall by the wayside.
We must look forward, because in today's world nobody waits for one who looks back. We must banish confrontation and resentments; and replace selfishness with generosity, pessimism with hope, helplessness with solidarity.
We have faith and believe in our country. Spain has a resistance to adversity, ability to overcome and a much greater inner strength than we sometimes think. Spain's strength is in ourselves; it is our courage, our character and our talent. It is also, why not say, in our way of living and understanding life.
The Spanish we have never surrendered to the difficulties that have been great, and we always won.
And besides, we have to keep walking with the aim of understanding and the spirit of unity to which I referred to at the beginning. With dialogue and commitment, sense of duty and responsibility; feeling and living, every day, each of us, with that ethical commitment that makes us a great people; uniting our hearts, for decades the Spanish people have decided, once and for all and forever, to shaking hands and not turn your back. Let's do it with all the strength and confidence of those who are proud of what we have achieved together and, above all, what we will achieve together.
With that excitement, and with that confidence in our future, the future of Spain in, I wish you all a very Merry Christmas, Feliz Navidad, Eguberri on, Bon Nadal, Boas Festas and a prosperous 2016.
Other Monarch's Christmas/New Years Addresses