Andorra was host land for Spaniards; and I am referring particularly to tragic episodes, such as our Civil warWith these words, he changed into Spanish the speech that Don Felipe gave last night at the dinner offered by the co-princes in honor of the Kings and that had begun a few minutes before in Catalan. According to Don Felipe in the first part of his words, the invitation was taken in October 2016 but they have traveled now, after four and a half years, at last, after a very difficult period, confessed. According to Zarzuela sources, Felipe VI referred to reasons unrelated to the Catalan independence process, although the invitation coincided in the month and the year with the vote of the Parliament to hold a referendum. That has not prevented the King from traveling anywhere, there have been other circumstances, including the pandemic, the same sources have clarified.
The king wanted remember the exiled Spaniards in the Pyrenean country, and recognized that at that time, this country was a refuge and sometimes a land of definitive adoption for citizens of the two contending parties in that war.
Ten hours earlier, Felipe VI and Doa Letizia were fired with honors at the Adolfo Surez Madrid-Barajas airport to resume their international agenda. This is the first trip of the State of the Kings since the pandemic began and it is, in addition, a destination to which no head of the Spanish State had officially traveled. Of the 77,000 inhabitants, 27,000 are Spanish. Furthermore, our country is the main investor in Andorra. However, until now the state visit, which takes place a month before Don Felipe returns to the principality, has been postponed, as they will host the Ibero-American Summit.
The Kings traveled in a plane of the Spanish Air Force to Lleida. There, they took a helicptero that he landed in Andorra la Vella around twelve in the morning. On a sunny and warm day, the arrival of Don Felipe and Doa Letizia seemed like a movie shot: the noise of the propellers echoed between the high mountains on which the capital of the principality is built. Little by little, the helicopter descended. From him the Kings descended, accompanied by the ministerArancha Gonzlez-Laya.
A quarter of an hour later, the events began in the Casa de la Vall, the former seat of the Parliament of the principality. The Kings were received with honors by Monsignor Joan Enric Vives, co-prince of Andorra and archbishop ad personam of Urgell, and por Patrick Strzoda, representing Emmanuel Macron, French coprnces.
After knowing the interior of this historic building and greeting the general sndic, Meritxell Palmitjavila; to the secretary, Josep Hinojora and the presidents of the five parliamentary groups, the Kings traveled by car the hundred meters that separate the old parliament from the Com, the City Hall. Minutes before his arrival, a hundred onlookers had come to the square where the building is located, wanting to see the Monarch and his wife up close. Some provided with flags, the most were Spanish who had been in the Principality for decades.
When they got out of the official car, the onlookers broke into cheers and applause that the kings complimented with greetings. They were greeted by Conxita Marsol, cnsol major, y David Astri, minor cnsol of Andorra. Majol lamented that due to the measures against the coronavirus, citizens could not be closer to the Kings.
Because Andorra seems to have more controlled the pandemic than Spain. More than eleven thousand of its inhabitants have been infected and 114 people have died from the virus. The Kings did not remove their mask all day. Once inside the City Hall, they held a brief meeting before beginning their separate agendas.
Queen Letizia moved to the Andorra Park hotel to maintain a meeting on education, one of the areas that has the most weight on your agenda. Felipe VI’s wife met with the Andorran Minister of Education, Ester Villarubla: the Director of Educational Systems and International Relations, Josep Mara Areny and the Director of Educational Quality and Human Resources Marie Pags. At the meeting, focused on the model of inclusion of disability in the Andorran educational model, they explained to the Queen the system they have, in which three languages coexist. The minister highlighted interest and knowledge by Doa Letizia for this theme.
After a private lunch, Don Felipe was received by the President of the Government of Andorra, Xavier Espot, at the headquarters of the Government. Their meeting was joined by Gonzlez-Laya, the head of the Casa del Rey, Jaime Alfonsn; the ambassador of Spain in Andorra, Angel Ros and the diplomatic adviser of the King, Alfonso Sanz Portols.
In the evening, at the Andorra Park hotel, the co-princes offered a dinner in honor of the Kings. Don Felipe, in addition to describing Andorra as a host country, highlighted the excellent bilateral relations that remain: Spain is accompanying you in the negotiation of an Association Agreement with the European Union, said the King. Today Andorra is a parliamentary principality and, like Spain, a fully democratic rule of law, he sentenced. This phrase seemed an answer to Pablo Iglesias, who last February affirmed that Spain is not a full democracy.
The King, in addition, empathized with the problems that the covid-19 has brought to the principality. Like Spain, Andorra also suffers in its economy the effects of this global crisis, he said and recognized that tourism was one of the most affected sectors for both countries: We know well The difficulty that for Andorra means experiencing a winter season like this one, he said. Don Felipe finished his speech by recalling the importance of the principality as a generator of economic activity and work for the Pyrenean population and asking collaborate ms an between Spain and Andorra.
After the speeches, the Kings dined at the main table with the co-princes, Cap de Governt and the president of the Parliament. There were 38 people invited to this appointment with Don Felipe and Doa Letizia, in which they tasted zucchini tartare with marinated scallop, dried tomato and black olive, wild sea bass with vegetables and chocolate purée and coulant with vanilla ice cream.
This Friday, March 26, the second and last day of the trip, the Kings have an agenda much less institutional. At ten in the morning they will visit the Spanish school Mara Moliner and meet the Spanish educational community in Andorra. The Monarch and his wife will tour the facilities and have a meeting with children. Later, they will visit the church of Santa Coloma and its pre-Romanesque frescoes before move to the town of Ordino. There they will have a private lunch and will close the first covid time trip with a visit to the Casa d’Areny Plandolit Museum.
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