This evening in Belgium the network, RTL, aired His Majesty King Albert II of Belgium’s pre-recorded traditional Christmas speech.
Rough translation: 🙂
“Ladies and Gentlemen,
Firstly, I would like to speak to thousands of workers this year have lost their jobs, whether at Ford Genk, in the Walloon steel or elsewhere.I understand their bitterness and distress of their families.
This period of Christmas and New Year gives us the opportunity to reflect together on our attitude to economic hardship and job losses.
Like all European countries, Belgium has not been spared by the crisis affecting many families, even if our countries are holding up better than the European average.
How can we respond?
1. It seems to me that the first response should be to all actors of the Belgian company, to join forces to present credible answers to the challenges of the job.This includes improving the competitiveness of our businesses, the government is promoting the reduction of business costs and wage moderation.Another way is to encourage better training for young people, for example by teaching alternately, that is to say, a school attached to a teaching training.Upgrading technical education will also contribute to further improve the training.I had the opportunity to visit some technical schools and I was impressed by the quality of the training that is provided.
Promote research and implementation of innovations are ways to prepare confirmed that the jobs of tomorrow.Finally, the social partners in the fields of their own, can also play an important role in developing joint proposals for employment.
2. A second reaction of public authorities is to create the framework for an economic recovery.This implies the courage to recover gradually and sustainably, at all levels, the balance of public finances.Federal authorities are taking important decisions about it.
3. A third reaction is, in my opinion, lie at the European level that determines our national circumstances.Here it is, especially for countries in the euro zone to continue the fiscal consolidation necessary while organizing a balanced recovery should be supported by the European Union.Our government is actually enrolled in such a positive approach, both by its decisions in Belgium and advocacy in Europe.
In addition to economic policy, also make sure that our young people develop more this opening to Europe with its diversity and richness of its cultures.I am pleased about this success Erasmus exchanges for students.I was struck, during the inauguration of the new school in Laeken European to see the joy of kindergarten, primary or secondary, from across Europe, and spoke and sang in several languages.For them to participate in different cultures of our continent, is the most natural thing in the world.They symbolize the Europe of tomorrow.
4. Fourth.In these difficult times, we need a special attention to the most vulnerable.It is ironic that in a country as prosperous as ours, it is estimated that nearly 15% of the population at risk of falling into poverty.We must show solidarity and also imagination to encourage new ways of reintegration into the world of work.Belgium has committed to at least 380,000 citizens out of poverty by 2020.
5. Fifth.In these troubled times we live in, be vigilant, and let us deal with populist lucid.They are still trying to find scapegoats for the crisis, whether abroad or people from another part of the country.These discourses exist today in many European countries and also in us.
The crisis of the 30s and populist reactions this time should not be forgotten.We have seen the harm it caused to our democracies.
6. Finally, in spite of serious concern in our country, remain open to what is happening in the world, especially where we can influence.In this regard, I am appalled that the dramas of people in eastern Congo continues, with so much violence and refugees, and Congolese territorial integrity is not respected.In addition, the recent attempted assassination of Dr. Mukwege, which relieves the suffering of so many women in this region, and has received 2 years ago the King Baudouin Prize, dramatically illustrates this tragedy.All these developments can not leave us indifferent.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
This is all my heart that the Queen and I and our family wish you each and everyone, whatever your situation, spend happy moments with your loved ones this Christmas and New Year.”