Felipe VI has admitted that Spain is in a “serious” situation due to the pandemic and the economic effectsBut he has asked not to fall into “discouragement and distrust” and to carry out a “great national effort” to overcome the crisis.
This is the full text of the message:
I am writing to you on this Christmas Eve when we are experiencing truly exceptional circumstances due to the pandemic.
Many families have not been able to meet tonight as you had thought due to health measures; and in thousands of homes there is a void impossible to fill due to the death of your loved ones, whom I now want to remember with emotion and with all respect. A memory that fills our hearts with very deep feelings. And also, at this time, many citizens fight against the disease or its consequences at home, in hospitals or in residences. Today I send you all my greatest encouragement and affection.
2020 has been a very tough and difficult year. The virus has entered our lives bringing suffering,
sadness or fear; it has altered the way we live and work, and has seriously affected our economy, even paralyzing or destroying many businesses.
Many citizens and families live the anguish of unemployment or precariousness; the anguish of barely meeting basic needs; Or do you feel the sadness of having to abandon a business to which you have dedicated your life. For all this, it is logical and understandable that discouragement or distrust are very present in so many homes.
And yet, the response to a crisis as serious as the one we are experiencing cannot come from the hand of more discouragement or more distrust. The situation is dire. But, even so, we have to face the future with determination and confidence in ourselves, in what we are capable of doing together,
with courage and hope; with confidence in our country and in our model of democratic coexistence.
We have reasons for this; because over the last decades, faced with also serious difficulties,
we have always been able to overcome them. And this situation that we are experiencing is not going to be different from the others; because neither the virus nor the economic crisis are going to break us.
Regarding the health situation, it is clear that overcoming this disease will come thanks to science and research. The new treatments against the virus and the development of vaccines that are underway already offer us great hope. But in the meantime, we have a lot to do.
Individual responsibility remains essential and is an effective instrument in the fight against the virus. That is why it is so important to stay alert and not lower our guard.
We once again thank the health workers for their enormous effort, their extraordinary professionalism and their great humanity with the sick. They faced the first attacks of the virus in extreme situations and also overflow in some of our hospitals. Today they continue to face this fight with a great emotional and physical burden on their shoulders. We ask you to maintain all your courage and strength and continue to take care of our health.
The other big problem and challenge is the economic crisis and avoid, above all, that it leads to a social crisis.
Each person matters a lot. Therefore, individuals and families must be our primary concern. Especially our youth; their unemployment level is extremely high, and they cannot be the losers in this situation. Our youth deserve to have the most appropriate training, to grow personally and professionally, and to be able to carry out their projects. Spain cannot afford a lost generation.
Protecting the most vulnerable and fighting against the inequalities that the pandemic has created or exacerbated is a matter of dignity among those of us who form the same political community. But it will also be essential to recover our economy.
And for this it is decisive to strengthen the business and productive, industrial and service fabric. The recognition and support of our companies, the protection of our freelancers and merchants, so hit these months, will be essential to create jobs, that job that our country needs so much.
We therefore need to consolidate the foundations that give us a clear horizon of economic momentum, stability and confidence, which encourages investment and the creation of jobs.
The health, economic and social challenges we face are therefore great … enormous,
but not insurmountable. Overcoming them constitutes a great national objective that must unite us all; what,
as citizens, it commits us and obliges us all; with ourselves, with others and with
And this requires a great collective effort, a great effort in which each one continues to give the best of himself according to his responsibilities and to the best of his abilities.
For this great national effort we count first of all on the most important thing: on people; with the example of thousands of citizens who have put their work at the service of others, who have lived these last months with self-denial, commitment and great generosity. People who stimulate our spirit of improvement and of whom we should be justly proud.
All of this has been personally verified by the Queen and I during this time. In the field and in the sea; in towns and cities; in the markets, in the factories we have seen the courage and the nerve of this country. We have felt the pulse of our society which, despite everything, has kept Spain on its feet.
We both have in our memory the living image of those thousands of citizens who represent a society that has felt more united than ever in its struggle and resistance in the face of such an adverse situation; a society that has effective and supportive organizations so that no one feels alone or helpless; a society that has endured these hard months with integrity, responsibility and serenity.
We therefore have a strong society and also a solid state. During all this time,
both public and basic services, as well as businesses in essential sectors have performed well,
trying to put all the means at your fingertips. The pandemic has revealed aspects that need to be improved and reinforced, but it also shows us strengths as an advanced state. We have verified this, for example, with the efficiency and dedication of our Armed Forces, our Security Forces, Civil Protection and Emergency services, and many other public servants, who have demonstrated their dedication to service and their full harmony with our society.
And Europe is also very important to face this crisis. We have the European Union, which has made a firm commitment to sustainability and economic recovery in the face of this pandemic. The Union offers us a historic opportunity to progress and advance; it opens a new era for Spain to join in a common project to modernize our economy; adapt our production structures to the new industrial, technological and environmental revolution that we are experiencing. And establish with ambition and cohesion our collective role as members of the EU before the world.
And above all we count on our system of democratic coexistence. At a time when the pandemic and its economic and social consequences cause so much uncertainty, our Constitution guarantees us our way of understanding life, our vision of society and of the human being; of their dignity, of their rights and freedoms. A Constitution that we all have a duty to respect; and that in our days, is the foundation of our social and political coexistence; and that represents, in our history, a success of and for democracy and freedom.
Let us not forget that the advances and progress achieved in democracy are the result of the reunion and the pact between the Spanish after a long period of confrontations and divisions. They are the result of wanting to look to the future together, united in democratic values; united in an always inclusive spirit, in respect for plurality and differences, and in the ability to dialogue and reach agreements. They are principles that do not lose new validity over the years.
And together with our democratic principles and compliance with the laws, we also need to preserve the ethical values that are at the roots of our society.
Already in 2014, in my proclamation before the Cortes Generales, I referred to the moral and ethical principles that citizens demand from our conduct. Some principles that oblige us all without exceptions;
and that they are above any consideration, of whatever nature, even personal or family ones.
This is how I have always understood it, in coherence with my convictions, with the way I understand my responsibilities as Head of State and with the renewing spirit that inspires my reign from day one.
I have always thought that Spain is an extraordinary country, of enormous richness and cultural diversity,
built over the centuries thanks to the effort of many generations of Spaniards, and with a great history that has been, for a time, the very history of our world.
We are not a people who give up or resign themselves in bad times. It will not be easy to overcome this situation, and in each house you know it very well. But I am sure that we will succeed. With effort, union and solidarity, Spain will move forward. With everyone and for everyone. And, as King, I will be with everyone and for everyone, not only because it is my duty and my conviction, but also because it is my commitment to all of you, to Spain.
It will not be difficult for the year 2021 to improve to this 2020. We are going to recover normality as much as possible in the
places of work, in classrooms, in squares and in neighborhoods; in shops, in markets, in bars; in cinemas, in theaters …; in everyday life that shapes the character of a society like ours.
It’s what we all want. And in the assurance that this will be the case, the Queen, the Princess of Asturias, the Infanta Sofía and I sincerely thank you for all the expressions of affection and support that you have transmitted to us this year, and we wish you a Merry Christmas and all the best for a particularly hopeful 2021.
Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas. Happy Holidays. ”
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