President Klaus Iohannis expressed on Monday evening his appreciation and respect for the Romanian community in Spain and called on the Romanian authorities to have a closer relationship with Romanians and to offer more efficient consular services.
“In these first months of my term I wanted to meet the representatives of Romanian communities in Europe. And every time I feel the same emotion and happiness. I wanted to be by your side, and likewise by the side of other fellow Romanian citizens from various parts of the continent, in order to meet you and tell you a few words. I thank you for who you are, our ambassadors in Spain, I thank you for representing us with honour and for being an example of patriotism. Among you I feel at home. Please receive my appreciation and respect for what you do: you invest in Romania through remittances, you inspire those in the country to strive for more and to have confidence. And, at the same time, you contribute to the development of the communities in which you live here, in Spain,” Iohannis told the representatives of Romanians living in Spain during a meeting at the Intercontinental Hotel.
“This meeting is taking place because you made it possible. November 16 is now a bit farther away in time. For me however, as commitment and determination, nothing has changed. I pursue the same principles and the promises I made back then continue to be my permanent reference point. Over six months have passed and I want to be very honest about the start of this term. There are things that budged and changed in Romanian politics. There are projects we carried through, such as the National Defence Strategy, because we sat at the table of dialogue, because we placed common goals for Romania ahead of political fighting. For other projects it is harder to make headway, because resistance to change is still very high. But the road we have set out on is the one promised: of different politics, featuring more integrity and decency, respect for the law and for people, dialogue but also firmness in defending principles,” President Iohannis stated.
“We have a new National Defence Strategy. I mention it here because in it I made a firm statement that caught some or many by surprise. I said that a strong Romania is the one that can ensure the security of its citizens and can protect them, through diplomatic and juridical means, wherever they are. In all the talks I have with my counterparts, the respect for and guaranteeing of the rights of Romanians living and working abroad are among the most important subjects. Likewise, I believe Romanian authorities should always have in view a better and closer relationship with citizens, more efficient consular services adapted to realities, a way of organizing that would answer requirements and a communication to match that. I keep all of this in mind,” the President said.
He continued by pointing out that the National Defence Strategy states that a strong Romania promotes her identity, knows how to defend and capitalize on those symbols that define us as a nation in the world, wherever we are. “You are doing this here, in Spain, by promoting Romanian culture and language, through the role you have in society. You make Romania strong.”
“I have to tell you that at the level of the Presidential Administration we have started to work on a coherent vision for the Diaspora. We started off from understanding the reality, the problems and preoccupations of Romanians abroad. We initiated a dialogue with all representatives of relevant institutions, with all those who have and have to have a say. I ask you to view my presence here in the same context,” the President concluded.
President Iohannis’s two-day official visit to Spain ended on Tuesday with a meeting with Spanish Senate Speaker Pio Garcia-Escudero.
On Monday he met the King of Spain, Felipe VI, and the Spanish Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy.
The Romanian President and his wife, Carmen Iohannis, also took part in the official lunch offered by King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia. Afterwards, they met the Romanian community in Spain.
King Felipe VI praises President Iohannis’s efforts to consolidate rule of law in first months of his term in office
“Both the Queen and I have very pleasant memories from our visit to Romania, a visit paid as Princess and Prince of Asturias in July 2009, a visit during which we felt the cordiality and hospitality of the Romanian people, as well as the friendship that connects our countries,” King Felipe VI stated at the official dinner offered in the honour of the Romanian President. The King of Spain praised President Iohannis’s efforts to implement reforms and consolidate the rule of law in the first months of his term in office.
“Following the elections that took place in November last year you received the Romanian people’s support in order to take the country’s highest office. Romania relies on a solid democracy, an open economy, and is an active partner that is aware of its responsibilities and that shows solidarity within the international community. We appreciate and encourage the firmness you have shown and efforts you have made in the first months of your term in office in order to advance on the path of reforms meant to consolidate the rule of law and to improve your citizens’ living standards and well-being,” King Felipe VI stated.