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The Princess of Asturias Foundation

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Speeches  

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Speech by HRH the Prince of Asturias during the ceremony at the 1992 Prince of Asturias Awards

Good faith and generosity transform solitude into company and violence into peace.

"May they know that I have lived
fighting for life and peace".

I make use of this verse by Blas de Otero in order to pay homage to the work of President De Clerk and Nelson Mandela. We always find just the right words to express the most beautiful tasks in poetry.

The road to peace has united them in a dialogue that, in spite of being full of obstacles, has been repeatedly driven ahead by their courage, thereby highlighting one of the most splendid examples of how good faith and generosity transform solitude into company and violence into peace. The progress of their esteemed task reminds us that in order for freedom and justice to reign in society, as they said in ancient Greece, politics must be subordinated to morality.

Victory over the great tragedy of AIDS, an illness that not only destabilises the immunological defences of the body but also the very society when it discriminates, marginalises, or stigmatises those who suffer from it, is one of the great challenges facing mankind in modern times. It is admirable to see a woman, Elizabeth Taylor, at the pinnacle of success, transform her life into sacrifice and head, with persistent dedication, the most important international non-governmental organisation, the American Foundation for AIDS Research, in order to convey its noble ideals far and wide across the Earth. It is our desire that this Award brings hope to those that suffer from the illness, promotes confidence in those who may be afraid of it, and serves as a homage to all those who struggle to conquer it on so many different fronts.

I feel an identical admiration for the rest of the Award-winners, with whom I share the spiritual homeland of language.

In Emilio García Gómez, Federico García Moliner, Roberto Matta, Juan Velarde Fuertes, Francisco Nieva, and Miguel Induráin, I find the common bond of tremendous heart and a life grounded in the ethical impulse.

In a year so meaningful for Spain as this one, in which so many milestones in our history are celebrated, the Foundation could not have found-and for this I congratulate its Juries-a better representation of the spirit and the aspirations of these Awards. As I express my gratitude to the Juries, who have fulfilled their mission with such accuracy, I want to dedicate a very special remembrance, full of affection at the same time that it is full of profound sorrow, to Antonio Pedrol Ríus, who presided over one of them and who we have recently had the terrible misfortune of losing.

I have recently come back from Chile, a country that I visited for the first time and where I came into contact with the memory of Spain. Also for the first time, a Chilean is receiving this Award, and I want to take advantage of this moment to send my deep gratitude to president Alwyn and the people of Chile for their hospitality and the warm welcome with which they received me. Matta, creator of signs and spaces, is a peerless artist that honours Chile and Hispano-America. His fantasy and imagination will be recognised in art history as well as in his influence on generations of artists in Europe and on the other side of the Atlantic.

It is difficult to summarise the vast, fruitful, and matchless work of Emilio García Gómez, whose admirable vitality is as large as his modesty. A first-rate humanist and learned Spaniard, he has made it possible through his work so that one of the cultural roots of Spain, that which ties us to the Arabic world, remains alive and fertile.

Federico García Moliner is one of the most distinguished representatives of the Spain that enjoys international prestige in the field of Science. I do not only want to emphasise his facet as scientific researcher, where he has achieved an extremely high degree of success in the field of solid state physics, but also his resolute effort in favour of Spanish science, by giving up exceptional economic and material conditions abroad and returning to Spain in order to join in the common undertaking of his homeland.

Ceaseless worker and scholar, spiritual father of various generations of economists, heir of the most lucid minds of the Asturian Enlightenment, Juan Velarde Fuertes is a model for his independence of judgement and for the rigor of his research, as well as for the generosity with which he conveys it.

For the first time a dramatist receives the Prince of Asturias Award for Letters. Francisco Nieva is an extraordinary personality who, through the unique hallmark of his work, has known how to combine the most important vanguardists of our century with the most brilliant theatrical tradition.

The best features of Spanish youth reflect naturally as well as spontaneously in Miguel Induráin: sacrificing, simple, loyal to his team-mates and generous with his rivals, affectionate with those who admire him, this great athlete possesses a professionall trabajo de este profesor de la Universidad de Oxford y miembro de la Real Academia Británica. Como ha dicho de él su colega y también receptor de nuestro premio, Sir John Elliott, el profesor Carr ha hecho una aportación de la máxima importancia a nuestro conocimiento de la historia de España en los siglos XIX y XX.


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