Holocaust survivor Veil receives Asturias award
26 May 2005, OVIEDO — French politician, European legislator and Holocaust survivor Simone Veil was awarded the 2005 Prince of Asturias international cooperation prize.
26 May 2005
OVIEDO — French politician, European legislator and Holocaust survivor Simone Veil was awarded the 2005 Prince of Asturias international cooperation prize.
Spain's most prestigious prize was awarded to Veil for representing the "ideals of a united Europe".
The jury, which met in the northern city of Oviedo, praised Veil's "commitment, strength and consistency in defending values and goals at a moment in history in which certain doubts and hesitations are appearing with respect to the future of Europe and its very identity".
That was a reference to this weekend's referendum in France on the European Constitution.
Considered one of the most influential people in France and Europe, 77-year-old Veil has dedicated her life to fighting intolerance.
"I'm very moved and grateful," Veil told EFE in Paris upon learning of the honour.
Simone Veil, the first popularly elected president of the European parliament and president of the Foundation for the Memory of the Holocaust, was praised by the jury "for defending liberty, the dignity of the person, human rights, justice, solidarity and the role of women in modern society".
Since 1998, she has been a member of the French constitutional council, the highest constitutional authority in the country, and a strong advocate for Europe in that body.
In 2005, Veil took a leave of absence from the council to campaign for the 'Yes' vote in Sunday's referendum.
The jury noted that Veil was one of the individuals "most representative of the European Union and who with great tenacity has contributed to its integration".
Veil was born to a Jewish family in Nice in 1927.
She was deported by the Nazis to the Auschwitz concentration camp at the age of 16.
The Prince of Asturias awards, which offer a cash prize of EUR 50,000 euros ($60,000) and a reproduction of a statuette designed by Joan Miro, will be handed out at a ceremony in the autumn in Oviedo.
Awarded by Spain's crown prince Felipe, the prizes are regarded as the Ibero-American world's equivalent of the Nobels.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news