Updated: Thursday, December 24, 2020 9:19 PM
Published on: 12/24/2020 21:14
I am writing to you on Christmas Eve as we live in truly exceptional circumstances due to the pandemic.
Many families could not meet this evening as you had expected due to sanitary measures; and in thousands of homes there is a void that cannot be filled because of the deaths of your loved ones, which 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 hospital or in residence. Today I send you all my greatest encouragement and affection.
2020 has been a very hard and difficult year. The virus has entered our lives, bringing suffering, sadness or fear; it changed the way we live and work, and severely affected our economy, crippling or even destroying many businesses.
Many citizens and families experience the anxiety of unemployment or precariousness; anxiety about barely meeting basic needs; Or do you feel the sadness of having to give up on a business you have devoted your life to. For all this, it is logical and understandable that discouragement or mistrust are very present in so many households.
And yet, the response to a crisis as serious as the one we are going through cannot come from more discouragement or more mistrust. The situation is dire. But even so, we must 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 past decades, faced with serious difficulties, we have always been able to overcome them. And this situation we are in will be no different
others; because neither the virus nor the economic crisis will break us.
Regarding the health situation, it is clear that overcoming this disease will require science and research. New treatments against the virus and ongoing vaccine development already offer us a lot of hope. But in the meantime, we have a lot to do.
Individual responsibility remains essential and constitutes an effective instrument in the fight against the virus. This is why it is so important to stay vigilant and not to let your guard down.
We thank once again the health workers for their enormous effort, their extraordinary professionalism and their great humanity with the patients. They faced the first attacks of the virus in extreme situations and also overflows in some of our hospitals. Today, they continue to face this struggle with a heavy emotional and physical burden on their shoulders. We ask you to keep all your courage and strength and continue to take care of our health.
The other big problem and challenge is the economic crisis and, above all, to prevent it from leading to a social crisis. Each person matters a lot. Therefore, individuals and families should be our primary concern. Especially our youth; their unemployment rate is extremely high and they cannot be the losers in this situation. Our young people 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 tackling the inequalities the pandemic has created or exacerbated is a matter of dignity for 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 commercial and productive, industrial and tertiary fabric. The recognition and support of our businesses, the protection of our freelancers and traders, so stricken these months, will be essential to create jobs, this job that our country so badly needs. We must therefore consolidate the foundations which give us a clear horizon of economic dynamics, stability and confidence, which encourage investment and job creation.
The health, economic and social challenges we face are therefore considerable… enormous, but not insurmountable. Overcoming them constitutes a great national objective which must unite us all; who, as citizens, engage and oblige us all; with ourselves, with others and with our country.
And that requires a great collective effort, a great effort in which everyone continues to give the best of themselves according to their responsibilities and to the best of their abilities.
For this great national effort, we count above all on the most important: on people; following the example of thousands of citizens who have put their work at the service of others, who have lived these past months with renunciation, commitment and great generosity. People who stimulate our spirit of improvement and of whom we should be rightly proud.
All of this was personally verified by the Queen and I during this time. On the ground and in the sea; in the towns; in the markets, in the factories, we have seen the courage and courage of this country. We have felt the pulse of our society which, despite everything, has kept Spain on its feet.
We both remember the vivid 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 unfavorable situation; a society that has efficient and supportive organizations so that no one feels alone or helpless; a company that has endured these difficult months with integrity, responsibility and serenity.
So we have a strong society and also a strong state. During all this time, both public and basic services, as well as businesses in essential sectors have functioned well, trying to put all means at their disposal. The pandemic has revealed aspects to us that need to be improved and strengthened, but it also shows us our strengths as an advanced state. We have verified this, for example, with the efficiency and dedication of our armed forces, our security forces, our civil protection and emergency services and many other officials, 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 is firmly committed to sustainability and economic recovery in the face of this pandemic. The Union offers us a historic opportunity to progress and move forward; 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 to establish with ambition and cohesion our collective role as members of the EU before the world.
And above all, we rely on our system of democratic coexistence. At a time when the pandemic and its economic and social consequences are causing so much uncertainty, our Constitution guarantees us our way of understanding life, our vision of society and of human beings; of their dignity, their rights and freedoms. A Constitution that we all have a duty to respect; and this today is the foundation of our social and political coexistence; and this represents, in our history, a success for and for democracy and freedom.
Let us not forget that the advances and the progress made in the field of democracy are the result of the reunion and the pact between the Spaniards after a long period of clashes and divisions. They are the result of a desire to look together towards the future, united in democratic values; united in an always inclusive spirit, in respect for plurality and differences, and in the capacity to dialogue and to conclude agreements. These are principles that never lose their validity over the years.
And along with our democratic principles and respect for the law, we must also preserve the ethical values that are the basis of our society.
Already in 2014, in my proclamation before the general courts, I mentioned the moral and ethical principles that citizens claim from our conduct. Some principles which oblige us all without exception; and that they are above all consideration, of any nature whatsoever, even personal or family.
This is how I have always understood it, consistent with my convictions, with the way of understanding my responsibilities as Head of State and with the renewing spirit that animates my Reign from day one.
I have always thought that Spain is an extraordinary country, of enormous cultural richness and diversity, built over the centuries thanks to the efforts of many generations of Spaniards, and with a great history that has been, for a time , the story itself. of our world.
We are not a people who give up or resign themselves in difficult times. It will not be easy to overcome this situation and in every house you know it well. But I am sure 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, in Spain.
It will not be difficult for the year 2021 to improve until 2020. We will find normality as much as possible in the workplace, in classrooms, in squares and in neighborhoods; in shops, in markets, in bars; in cinemas, in theaters …; in the daily life which shapes the character of a society like ours.
This is what we all want. And with 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 conveyed to us this year, and we wish you a Merry Christmas and the best for a particularly promising 2021.
Eguberri on. Good Nadal and Boas festas.