Theme: Monday, July 22, 2013

PM Victor Ponta: I felt friendship and respect for Romania, for the Romanian people and Romanians living and working in Spain

Mr. President,
Ladies and gentlemen

I want to thank you for the extremely warm welcome. In all meetings I had today with high personalities of the Spanish public life, I felt a special feeling. Friendship and respect for Romania as country, for the Romanian people, and the Romanians who are living in Spain, and especially in Madrid area. I want to thank for that feeling and tell that, for Romania, Spain remains a very special country, with common latin roots, tradition, history. I can say that, now, Spain is the second country in the world as number of Romanians, after Romania, of course. I want to thank especially for that welcoming, the presidency of Madrid region as the Madrid region is an example of economic success, development from all points of view: cultural, social and integration of a very important community: that of Romanians. I am very happy to speak with the President of Madrid region not about problems, but about the positive contribution of Romanians to the region development. I am very proud of the fcat that, Romanians who are living here, working, paying taxes, their effort joins the region development effort and the effort of economic recovery for Madrid and Spain.
I think it is the merit of regional authorities, of people here from Madrid, for the fact that Romanians’ integration is an accomplished fact and that brings benefits to all. I want to appreciate the role that the cultural associations, Orthodox Church play in this integration of Romanians, to tell that I am very proud to hear so beautiful words about our citizens and to tell that I know that, sometimes, for Romania, it is not good that the most dynamic and active of our citizens come in other country, to work.
I wish soon equal opportunities and chances for those who remain in the country and for those who come to Spain to shape a better life. I am sure that no one forgets his origins, family, places of birth, but Romanians learn Spanish so quickly and are so well integrated, clearly, that Madrid and Spain became a second home.
I would like to ask all Romanians here in Madrid, and Spain, to help us to present our country in a much better light, all the good things that are related to Romania. I think the respect and friendship we have met here; we have to confirm them with everything related to Romania, to persuade the Spanish friends to come as often as possible in Romania, to visit the country, to see us as we truly are. I know last year, they were for the European Cup final between Atletico Madrid and Atletic Bilbao and I think they liked Bucharest – I believe Madrid inhabitants loved the outcome of the match too, so they have fond memories. Romania, however, means much more than Bucharest and or only one day trip, then there are many other places to visit, I think that our cultural ties, history are more important than what we talk every day and I am absolutely convinced that this special relationship between Romania and Spain is a relationship which benefits both countries and both peoples. Even Spanish football is already a national problem in Romania – I do not know if there are more Romanians who are fans of Real Madrid or Barcelona or Atletico but surely, they are all watching Spanish football.
I am not allowed to side with any team in particular, not to lose the support of others, but every Sunday, I am a supporter of Formula 1 Fernando Alonso until there is a Romanian pilot too.
I think there are many things that unite us - I want to again thank Mr. President for how local authorities deal with the Romanian community, to wish all Romanians a good life here, where they chose to live, and all that good stuff they learn here in Madrid, we have to try to do them at home.
Thank you and I would always, appreciate this very special relationship. I cannot pronounce, but I can tell you now, I hope to have, at one time, a great event - the Olympic Games in Madrid - if not, Romanians will always have a reason to come here and we look forward to your visit to Romania. Thank you a lot.