Vitoria-Gasteiz. Lehendakari Iñigo Urkullu has addressed his traditional Christmas message to Basques and communities around the world. Urkullu speaks about family, heart, profound sentiment, and hope in his message as well as the capacity of Basques to face and overcome, as well as the asset that the Basque Diaspora represents with increased numbers of young professionals annually. Hospitality, generosity and gratitude at the doors of 2019, when Euskadi will welcome the 7th World Congress of Basque Collectivities Abroad, a meeting that precedes a message of good wishes, Gabon zoriontsuak eta Urte Berri On.
Kanpoan bizi zareten euskaldunok,
I send all of you, the people that make up the great Basque family spread throughout the world, my best wishes for this Christmas and the New Year 2019 that is about to begin. These are dates when, depending on circumstances and possibilities, many people and families return to Euskadi to celebrate the holidays, while others enjoy them in your respective countries of residence. I share the warmth of these meetings at which families gather, happy to see each other again and bring hearts closer together. However, I am also very aware of those who cannot celebrate or enjoy according to how they would like to. I understand how you feel.
Our wish in Euskadi, knowing about the diverse reality that we are also living, is to spend Christmas peacefully, without surprises, with our hopes set on the evolution of Euskadi. We are advancing economically and socially, we are also moving towards a new coexistence, healing the wounds of the violence of our most recent past.
We are a serious country, that faces up to its difficulties rigorously, and trying to overcome challenges through collaboration and shared responsibility. A decade ago we entered into a recession that has been very long and profound. We are emerging thanks to collective commitment and shared tenacity. We know how to scale the heights with effort, then descend to climb up again. We are leaving while trying not to leave anyone behind and maintaining the aspiration to place ourselves at the level of the most advanced states in Europe.
In the past, various crisis situations, economic or social, pushed your ancestors to emigrate and gave rise to the singular and unique reality of the Basque Diaspora, a network that weaves and unites the relations of the Basque presence around the world. Consequently, we feel the strength of the example bequeathed to us by all the people who preceded us. Our history has forged us to resist adversity. Now, in addition, we are experiencing the reality of a society that is advancing in peace; a conquest that is transforming Euskadi and that is showing us the great potential we have as a country if we work together. Returning to you, we have a great asset, a Basque Community present and integrated throughout the world, extraordinarily loyal and committed to Euskadi. A global Community that makes us proud as a people and that helps us with its commitment. Wherever we go, we always find your hospitality and you generously offer all your experience and knowledge. We also have a new generation of young people full of talent and ambition. Young people distributed mainly throughout Europe, America and Asia, who want to have the opportunity to demonstrate everything you can do for your Basque homeland.
You form the natural, close and immediate link we have to connect Euskadi with the world. Next year we will hold the 7th World Congress of Basque Communities Abroad. For this reason, we will have a new opportunity to meet and discuss the main challenges facing the Basque Community. We will have the chance to compare new initiatives with the Basque Clubs - Euskal Etxeak in order to outline a global strategy together for the Basque presence abroad in the 21st century. With the hope of continuing to see our People and our Basque Community grow in the world, I send you the gratitude of Basque society and best wishes for the coming festivities and the New Year.
Gabon zoriontsuak igaro ditzazuela eta Urte berri on!
Iñigo Urkullu Renteria