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Brindis de Su Alteza Real el Prínipe de Asturias en el almuerzo en la Quinta

EE.UU.(Albuquerque. Nuevo México), 20.10.2000

M

r. President, I would like first of all to express my sincerest thanks for the Plaque you have just presented to me. It reflects once more the generosity of the University and I will keep it as the reminder of a happy day, one that will be difficult to forget.

This is the third Endowed Chair to bear my name in the United States of America. The Endowed Chairs at Tufts and Georgetown universities are oriented towards the teaching of Spanish history, culture, public policy and international relations, a task they have been fulfilling highly successfully for the last few years.

But when Ambassador Romero talked to me about the possibility of creating a new Endowed Chair, we both immediately concurred that while Spain has much to contribute to society in the U.S. as an erstwhile meeting-point of civilizations and cultures and as discoverer of the New World, it was the future we should be focusing on. And the future today means being up to the difficulties and challenges of scientific research and technological development.

And so today we are inaugurating the Prince of Asturias Endowed Chair in Information Science and Technology, which will address subjects that are of decisive importance for our citizens, in one of the principal universities of the United States, located in these vast and beautiful lands which we as Spaniards hold very dearly to our hearts, and financed by a great Spanish electric power company.

This is therefore a day to rejoice, but more than that it should be the beginning of a new stage. I am convinced that new opportunities for collaboration between Spaniards and New Mexicans will emerge as the Chair goes about its work, and I am particularly pleased to know that mechanisms are in place to continuously foster cooperation among the institutions at the forefront of this project. In view of the enthusiasm with which they have embraced it and the efficiency with which they have implemented it, I think we need not have any fears for the future.

I would not wish to conclude this toast without showing my gratitude to everyone who has made the creation of this Endowed Chair possible. This morning at the University, I expressed my thanks to those ultimately responsible for the decision. And here and now, I likewise thank others who have helped to bring this project to fruition. The University delegation that come to Madrid last July and so quickly grasped the need to equip the Chair with a system of graduate and postgraduate scholarships, which the University generously agreed to endow; the hard-working team at the American Embassy who spent days and nights on the project; the Secretary of State for Science and Technology Policy who lent his support and valuable advice; and Antonio Saenz de Miera, who as always given us the benefit of his wisdom and savoir-faire.

Mr. President, dear friends, I invite you all to raise your glasses and toast the success already achieved and the ones that lie ahead of us.

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