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Palabras de Su Majestad el Rey en el almuerzo de clausura del Comité Ejecutivo de los Comités Olímpicos Europeos

Centro de Convenciones de Port Aventura World. Vila-seca, Tarragona, 19.05.2016

It is truly a great pleasure to greet you all here at this meeting of the Executive Committee of the European Olympic Committees. As we are counting the days and hours before this year’s Opening Ceremony at the Olympic Games in Rio, and as the excitement builds up again among athletes, organizers, spectators and media and all the olympic family, I’m really happy to see you. So allow me to gladly give those of you visiting us from abroad the warmest welcome to Spain, to this Catalan city of Tarragona.

This land, this city, that connects us so intensely to the ancient Roman Hispania, indeed embraces us all with its warm hospitality ―in an honest spirit of peace, brotherhood and dialogue― as a natural and proud host of next year’s Mediterranean Games.

But before I continue allow me to express my deep so now in the wake of last nights latest are tragedy affecting an Egyptair flight from Paris to Cairo. Hoy aquí, no quiero continuar mis palabras sin referirme a una nueva tragedia en la región. Mi recuerdo, el recuerdo de toda España, para las víctimas de la tragedia aérea del avión de Egyptair que esta madrugada nos ha sacudido el alma.

The official mascot of the Tarragona2017 Mediterranean Games was presented this very morning: “Tarracus”, a design selected from among the 252 proposals submitted by about 10.000 young boys and girls from 84 different schools in this province. So I thank and congratulate all those who have participated in this process and also those who have given it their support ―including this morning’s public official presentation.

As Europeans, as part of the European Olympic movement, we want to work towards a Mediterranean region that is a point of peaceful encounter and solidarity. This is why the Mediterranean Games —which bring together sports, education and culture— are an ideal venue to foster effective cooperation, development, and integration in the Mediterranean; and thusly it is an initiative that our country supports with strong conviction and faith

Spain’s commitment to the Olympic movement is well known and well appreciated all over the world, and we know that this is very much the case among the leaders of the different Olympic institutions represented here today. We are well aware of how the 2020 Agenda is promoting Olympism, and of the need for the Olympic movement to adapt to the current social and economic situation. In the face of these challenges, you all know that you can count on the sincere support of the Spanish Crown and Spain’s institutions.

The Mediterranean Games in Tarragona represent a fresh example of Spain’s commitment to Olympism, and all that it signifies. A commitment that is now focused on this remarkable crossroad of peoples and civilizations that is the Mediterranean basin. At present (As we all know and) time —as it has been so many times throughout history— this region is once again in the spotlight; and indeed in a very dramatic way, facing the tragedy of an unacceptable loss of so many lives, the anguish of human plight for survival, for peace, for opportunities and hopes of a better future.

As Europeans, as part of the European Olympic movement, we want to work towards a Mediterranean region that is a point of peaceful encounter and solidarity. This is why the Mediterranean Games —which bring together sports, education and culture— are an ideal venue to foster effective cooperation, development, and integration in the Mediterranean; and thusly it is an initiative that our country supports with strong conviction and faith.

La celebració dels propers Jocs del Mediterrani a Tarragona, capital de renom a la Hispània romana, és una iniciativa que enorgulleix Catalunya i a tota Espanya, i que s'enforteix amb la col·laboració de totes les nostres Administracions i Institucions. Es tracta d'una cita que posarà de manifest el compromís del nostre país amb la pau i la concòrdia en una regió, la Mediterrània, que forma part de la nostra cultura, la nostra història i la nostra identitat. Dono per tot això la més afectuosa felicitació a tots els tarragonins que, em consta, s'han sumat a aquesta iniciativa amb veritable entusiasme.

Termino ya mis palabras reiterando el compromiso de Tarragona, de Cataluña y de toda España con los Juegos Mediterráneos de 2017. Serán una oportunidad para poner de relieve la necesidad de impulsar —a través de la educación y los mejores valores olímpicos— la paz y el diálogo en una región que, una vez más en la Historia, debe ser punto de encuentro y de solidaridad entre pueblos, países y, sobre todo, entre personas de todas las culturas.

Muchas gracias,
Moltes gràcies,
Thank you very much.

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