King urges unity on Independence Day eve
20 July 2005, BRUSSELS — King Albert II saw five positive developments and reactions in Belgium in the past few months that have given him optimism for the nation's future.
20 July 2005
BRUSSELS — King Albert II saw five positive developments and reactions in Belgium in the past few months that have given him optimism for the nation's future.
The comments were made in the King's traditional address to the nation on the eve of Independence Day on Thursday.
King Albert II started his speech with a reference to the 7 July bombings in London, saying they were "barbarous terrorist acts that signify full-blown aggression against the fundamental values of our democratic community."
He also praised the variety and quality of this year's national day celebrations, but stressed the importance of local traditions and the richness of diversity in Belgium.
However, King Albert II primarily focused on the various attitudes and reactions that had given him confidence in the Belgian future.
Firstly, the public's wish for a unified nation made him happy, the King said, pointing to a recent survey showing 87 percent of the public wants to maintain Belgian unity.
King Albert II said he had also witnessed tolerance, evidenced by the commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II on 8 May this year, newspaper 'De Standaard' reported on Wednesday.
But the King has also seen dialogue over issues such as xenophobia, intolerance and also the tributes paid to disaster victims at official ceremonies.
"These meetings, these social ceremonies give testimony to the readiness to enter dialogue and honour the beliefs of everyone," he said,
A fourth attitude was solidarity, which developed as a spontaneous reaction to the Indian Ocean tsunami disaster. "An exceptional zest of generosity traversed the entire country very quickly," King Albert II said.
In conclusion, the monarch said he had witnessed during his recent State visit to China how much Belgian academics, entrepreneurs and artists have creatively and dynamically adopted a willingness to understand the ancient Chinese culture.
The King subsequently said he had sufficient evidence to confirm Belgian openness to the world at large.
He finished his speech by saying Belgium should continue to strive for unity, good social conduct and dialogue. It should also remain open to the outside world and continue to show solidarity, he said.
[Copyright Expatica News 2005]
Subject: Belgian news