MADRID – Speaking from the Zarzuela Palace, King Felipe VI made his traditional Christmas address to the nation.
He began by sending best wishes to everyone for the next year after this year once again, a lot of things happened in the world.
The war in Ukraine
The King said 2022 was very complicated and difficult. The pandemic had finished, however, the war in Ukraine began. We were now 10 months into the war, and a lot of innocent people have died. Thousands of lives have been lost. He continued by sending his best wishes to the refugees of Ukraine who are in now living in Spain.
He said, “to the Ukrainian refugees in our country and all their compatriots, you are in our hearts, especially today.”
King Felipe VI denounced the Russian war against Ukraine and all its consequences. He warned of the consequences of a war of “global significance” that has affected Spain’s security.
Spain must therefore, “strengthen collective defence” with its allies. “At the same time, however, peace must be sought with the international community. We are looking for peace.”
He then went on to talk about the impact the cost of living was having on so many lives. He said he understood how that meant insecurity in the home. Normal every-day things were now a cause for worry: Things such as buying food from the supermarket, putting petrol in the car, and even turning on heat in the house have “in many cases, meant important personal and family sacrifices”.
“Living with instability has affected everything, nothing is sure”, he continued, “we have to confront this problem, we cannot give up, we have to trust in ourselves”.
We are Europe but we also need Europe
“Today, as part of the European Union, we share many of the same problems and contribute to their decisions with our own personality and interests. The common challenges that we face, from health, to financial or those related to our energy or environmental model receive solutions integrated into the common framework of the European Union.”
“Therefore, what is decided every day in the Union affects the daily life of all Spaniards. That´s the reality. We are Europe but we also need Europe. That it is our great political, economic, and social frame of reference and that for this reason it offers us certainty and security.”
Next year, Spain will be the head of the European community. Therefore, everyone must look to the future with hope.
“Spain is one of the biggest nations of the world, we have to defend our democracy.”
Democracy and freedom
King Felipe stated that it had been decades since the end of Franco´s reign, and when democracy started. However, he admitted there was still a lot to be changed. He talked about the importance of respect for the law and the constitution.
Furthermore, he emphasised the fight for democracy, and that we cannot forget the people who died for this. They made a sacrifice for the Spanish people to help make the country the way it is today”. He continued by saying, “we must think of each other – everyone who lives here in Spain.
He went on to say, “we need to strengthen our institutions”. Then, he warned of democratic “risks”, of “division” and “fragility”. “The democracies in the world are exposed to many risks. These are not new, and Spain is no exception. Furthermore, he stated that “division makes democracies more fragile”.
Peace and harmony
His final words were, “we must continue sharing goals, always with a spirit of renewal and adapting to changing times. With confidence in our country, in a Spain I know well, brave and open to the world, a Spain that seeks serenity, peace, tranquillity, a Spain which is responsible, creative, vital and generous….it’s up to all of you”.