This week, the Group of European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) has chosen the city of Madrid for an important meeting.
This meeting, which began on September 25 and will end today, has had the participation of politicians from several countries, with Vox as the host party of the event. Governments from several countries have participated electronically in this meeting, among them the Prime Minister of Poland, Mateusz Morawiecki, and the Prime Minister of Italy, Giorgia Meloni strong>, whose parties are partners of the ECR.
This Thursday, the ECR meeting included a visit to the Prado National Museum, one of the most important art museums in the world, which preserves a very important part of the cultural legacy of Spain and the rest of Europe. In this part of the meeting, Santiago Abascal, president of Vox, gave an inspiring speech about "the true Europe", vindicating its history and traditions.
The president of Vox cited such important historical events as the Taking of Granada in 1492, which culminated the Reconquest of Spain seven centuries after the Muslim invasion of the year 711, and the charge of the hussars wings of Jan III Sobieski, King of Poland (the best heavy cavalry of his time), in the Second Siege of Vienna in September 1683, a military action that prevented Europe from being subjugated by the Islamic forces of the Ottoman Empire.
As you know, I feel a special affection for Poland and I was happy to hear that reference. I am sure that the many Poles who read Counting Stars will also be happy to hear it.
You can listen to Abascal's entire speech here (the video is in Spanish, you can activate the automatic English subtitles in the bottom bar of the player):
For your interest, I have made a transcription of Abascal's speech and its translation into English which you can read below:
It is an immense honor for me to welcome so many friends and partners with whom we share the cause in Madrid. And we share the cause of the true Europe, of the Europe of Nations. And I say the true Europe because it is often difficult to appreciate traces of originality, freshness or genius in this union that is so uniform and outdated, in this European Union too domesticated by bureaucrats, in this European Union turned too many times into an administrative giant that extinguishes our vitality and silences the voice of our people. In a European Union that we so often see with concern attacks the tradition and economy of the people of Europe themselves.
The Europe to which I refer to you, the true one, is the Europe that for many centuries amazed the world, and led it with a firm hand and with a long look towards the greatest scientific, technological, and political splendor - Today we have been able to see it in the paintings that we have observed -, artistic and spiritual that all humanity has been able to know. The real Europe is like an archaeological site, because it lives buried in perfectly ordered strata under our feet. The Europe of Greek thought, of Roman Law and of the Judeo-Christian tradition, the Europe of Latin-planned cities, the Europe of monasteries and medieval castles, where some saved the pillars of our world in times of confusion and chaos, and the Europe that for more than a millennium kept the memory of universal Rome burning.
The Europe of those universities that debated the same issues and in the same Latin, both in Paris and Salamanca, the Europe that built identical cathedrals in Milan, in León, in Vienna, in Antwerp, in Strasbourg, Cologne, Krakow, Budapest or Bucharest. The Europe that was forged fighting against invaders foreign to our way of being and that thus became truly aware of its cultural roots. A good example of this is that when the Catholic Monarchs took Granada, at the culmination of the Reconquista against the Islamic invader, that event was celebrated throughout Europe: the bells rang in Westminster Abbey, in Naples They performed plays and processions were organized in Rome.
That Europe that outgrew its own continent and set out to discover new worlds, following higher principles and carrying the torch of civilization to places that were still in darkness, which defended its borders the same with an alliance in the Mediterranean or in the charge of the winged hussars when the Polish King rushed to the aid of the city of Vienna. The Europe of freedom, of reason, of the common sense that is so needed today. In short, classical Europe, the Europe aware of its role in the world, the Europe capable of overcoming its own decline, the Europe of Nations in which we believe.
Some have wanted to leave Europe reduced to a museum, but Europe is certainly not a museum, Europe is not the past. Our civilization is not the sad echo of a world that has already passed away, and it is not because an increasingly large handful of patriots and faithful to the European tradition, to the true European tradition, are still committed that Europe does not betray itself, and that is why it is an honor for me to share this evening with all of you.
We are still committed to ensuring that Europe is not a bargaining chip for other powers, that Europe has its own project, a project that does not alter the very substance of each Nation, rather the other way around: a project that finds complementarity in all differences. A project of our own, a mission born from our common spirituality, from our way of valuing art, from our way of understanding the human being, from our understanding of what the State, solidarity or freedom.
While this project arrives, perhaps museums like this one are the best places in which to take shelter, in which to reflect and in which to take ideas so as not to be out in the open, to wait - impatiently , yes- a new Renaissance of our Nations and our civilization. I believe that those of us who are here are fully aware that the best construction of the future is the one that carries with it materials, resources, customs, landscapes and ideas that came to us from our parents, the one that does not break the past into three, the present and the future, which values continuity and does not uproot people from their own history.
That is why today museums are that refuge and that is why it is a real pride for me to host all of you at the National Prado Museum, one of the most outstanding in the world, a space that welcomes the most evident examples of that common culture that I was talking about previously, a true hymn to European civilization, because this museum not only houses the works of hundreds of universal Spaniards, but also dozens and dozens of Europeans, Belgians, Germans, Dutch, Italians, Portuguese, French and many others.
And walking through the rooms of this museum, as we have been able to do, one observes, with all its schools and with all its peculiarities, with all its nuances and with all its details, that they are nothing but the verification of an authentic cultural unity. The same styles in Flanders and the Mediterranean, the same painters who worked for different courts, the same religious motifs at one end of Europe and the other, the same techniques in Seville and Florence, and the same symbols, shared influences, common teachers, aligned references and myths that serve as inspiration in both places over time.
If we ask ourselves what were the centuries of greatest splendor of European culture, I believe we can firmly answer that those in which the European Nations were free and sovereign, those in which none of our countries depended on a superior power contrary to their interests, those in which each Nation boldly pursued its historical mission.
Europe never had a culture as common as when it was faithful to its roots and the right of each Nation to govern itself according to its own criteria and its own values was strictly respected. Diversity is the previous formula of unity. And that is what those who want today, in our world, to destroy all the particularities of our Nations cannot understand and wish to replace the brilliance and strength of our ancient culture with an authentic caricature, which It is that of woke culture.
Europe is still searching for a mission. Europe needs to overcome fatigue and recover collective self-esteem. Some already consider our civilization dead, but between these walls and between these frescoes by Van Eyck, Frangelico, Bosch, Titian, Dürer, Goya, of Rubens or Velázquez and accompanied by all of you, I can say that I still have hope, and I have hope because the winds of change are blowing throughout Europe.
There is a Europe that is beginning to react, a Europe proud of its foundations and yearning for new moments of Glory. A Europe that in each and every one of our countries is stretching. It is the same Europe as always: the Europe of Nations, of freedom, of reason, of ancestral traditions, of secure borders and of sovereignty.
Let us be inspired surrounded by everything that our best people did in the past, and let us conspire to prevent this adventure, that of our civilization, from ever being just a memory, a past chapter.
Long live the Europe of the Homelands!"
Main photo: Vox.
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