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Nations would not progress spiritually or materially if it were not for individuals like the ones awarded here today, that transcend difficulties, open up new roads, and stir feelings of emulation.
In presenting these Awards today, which are now in their sixth edition, I want to bear in mind that this is the first time that I am doing so after having taken the oath in the Spanish Parliament, as the Heir to the Crown, on reaching full legal age.
This is an important circumstance that links me even further to the obligations that are derived from my condition as the Prince of Asturias and increases the responsibilities that are incumbent on me within the monarchical institution.
An institution that is characterised by its continuity and permanence; that transcends individuals and that, on both the national and international level, ought to be above transitory and circumstantial situations.
If, on the national level, the Monarchy must exert itself in fulfilling its constitutional mission for all the Spanish people, then internationally it ought to spread its feelings of fellowship and desires for peace to all the nations of the earth, maintaining the most amiable relations with them.
This generality, this broad and generous point of view, which is consubstantial to the institution in which I am to serve Spain, ought to be removed from limited or variable political concepts in order to integrate itself into the grand immutable feeling of harmony, peace, the permanent values of art and culture as a whole and in their most outstanding and valuable representations.
For me, the Prince of Asturias Awards are satisfying for this reason; it is precisely because they bear my name and represent what I do within the Monarchy that they must be separated from concrete political issues in order to refer to these other universal principles that do not pay heed to temporal or spatial limitations.
The Crown´s desire for friendship, to whose succession I am called and in which I share intensely, is directed at-as I have just said-all the nations of the world. Be that as it may, the relationship between Spain and the countries of Ibero- America is an especially pronounced one and, on many occasions, the Prince of Asturias Awards have been destined there.
In this regard I would like to recall the recent words of His Majesty the King when, in the Assembly of the Organisation of the United Nations, he emphasised that our integration in the European Economic Union enriches rather than lessens Spain´s relationship with the countries of America.
Within a short time, I will find myself aboard the Juan SebastiánElcano on the high seas that were once crossed by Spaniards eager to discover new lands, new worlds, and stretch the limits of what was then known.
Those of you who receive these Awards today also symbolise the effort to chart a new course, to carry out new conquests, to extend the limits of culture, art, social communication, science, letters, and the cooperation between Spain and the countries of Ibero-America, joined together by a common language and so many spiritual bonds.
I am proud of this Asturias, with its tradition of emigration, many of whose children have taken their work, love, and effort to American soil.
I offer my heartfelt congratulations to the honourees and I invite the young people of my generation to take your labour and dedication as an example. Nations would not progress spiritually or materially if it were not for individuals like the ones awarded here today, that transcend difficulties, open up new roads, and stir feelings of emulation.
Thank you very much to the members of the jury for having accurately fulfilled the task of discerning the best. Thank you as well to this Foundation that is managing to convey the name of Asturias down the road of culture, which these Awards symbolise, to the most far-off corners of the world, and it provides me with, once more, this magnificent opportunity to be in this beloved land, with all of you.
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