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Palabras de Su Alteza Real el Príncipe de Asturias en el almuerzo ofrecido por el Alcalde de Chicago y la Sra. Daley

Chicago, 07.10.2009

H

onorable Mayor of the City of Chicago,

Mrs. Daley, (Maggie)

Mr. Ambassador,

Members of the Chicago City Council,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The Princess joins me in thanking you for your generous invitation for lunch in this gorgeous building, which reflects not only the dynamism and high cultural level of Chicago, but also the strong initiative of its citizens.

But allow me for a minute -since it is so recent- to mention how the city of Madrid and the city of Chicago share the sorrow of not being elected as Hosts of the 2016 Olympic Games. I know how much effort and determination were placed on the wishful prospect of receiving such a responsibility, and how much compromise and dedication you, Mayor Daley have personally put into the preparations and campaigning.

As an Olympian myself, I am well aware of the benefits and values of the Olympic movement, and as a Spaniard born "madrileño" you can imagine how much I hoped together with my family and all Spaniards, for that last card shown by President Rogue to have contained the name of Madrid on it. Well it did not; Rio de Janeiro beat us all Madrid, Chicago, Tokyo to the mark. And, after soaking our tears and wrapping up our hopes, we must convene that the beautiful and lively brazilian city of Rio has all our support to be fully prepared for a wonderful success in 2016.

Ladies and Gentelmen, this morning we were very proud and honoured to have witnessed and presided over the opening of the Instituto Cervantes' new premises here in Chicago. As you well know, the Instituto Cervantes, offers a complete and broad view of the rich and modern Spanish culture and of the cultures of all the other Spanish speaking countries.

Therefore today this "Second City" -as you call it- enhances the strong bans and plentiful links between Americans and Spaniards through the shared history of both countries and from the very origins of this great Nation; one that is a close friend, partner and ally of Spain. This History we share, brings us now to an interesting present and leads us to a future of growing friendship and cooperation in all fields, from culture to business, from education to scientific research.

In this sense, I'm happy to underline -as I did yesterday, in Santa Fe, New Mexico, that world-leading Spanish corporations are investing heavily all around the country generating growth and new jobs in important economic sectors like the latest technologies in renewable energy, solid financial services, advanced transportation technology, high speed railways or construction and infrastructure engineering.

On this basis I'm sure that the prestigious work of the Cervantes Institute will contribute to reinforce Chicago's international outlook by teaching Spanish, the second most important language for international communication, now spoken by nearly 500 million people in the world. As Heir to the Spanish Throne I'm also convinced that it will contribute to the strengthening of Spanish-American friendship.

Thank you again Major Daley and Mrs. Daley for your hospitality, thank you Ladies and Gentlemen for your company today and for your efforts to keep working together with Spain for a better future.

Now, Ladies and Gentlemen, please join me in a toast to Chicago and its people.

Thank you very much.

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