translated from RTL : RTL Infos - Discours du Roi à l'occasion des fêtes de fin d'année
Speech of the King at the time of the festivals of end of the year
"Mesdames and Messieurs,
the festivals of Christmas and New Year are for many families a traditional occasion to find itself in a slackened atmosphere. Together one evokes the outstanding moments of the past year and one addresses oneself want for the new year. He can be the same for it for our country, especially in this year or we celebrated the 175ème anniversary of Belgium and the 25th anniversary of our federalism. The user-friendliness, the gaity and the agreement which characterized these festivities me impressed.
The popular days which surrounded on July 21 were radiant of good mood. Who does not remember the festival "Belgium dances" organized at the same time in ten cities of the country. The Queen and myself took part in it with joy on the great place of Ypres. It still arrives to me of fredonner "ik hou van U, I love you, you know". The concert given to the our national festival day before on the initiative of the Musical Contest Queen Elizabeth particularly was successful. The evening from July 21 in Brussels, with the spectacle of the large barge descending the Botanical Boulevard was memorable.
With the Place of the Palates we were pleased to inaugurate the new Bellevue Museum. It is devoted to the history of Belgium and attracts already a very many public. The exposure "Made in Belgium" points out great moments of our history and the many extraordinary talents to us which developed on our grounds.
The economic world also recalled in a very attractive way the history of our country and its economic and social evolution. Our scientific and cultural Institutions federal carried out remarkable demonstrations while the Ministry for Foreign Affairs organized a fort interesting exposure on the topic: 175 years of diplomacy in Belgium.
Personally, I was particularly sensitive to the commemoration, as well in Stockholm as in Brussels, of centenaire of the birth of my mother, the Queen Astrid. The festival of November 26 which enclosed the celebration of anniversarys 175-25, us rained much and very especially this splendid choral society of 600 young singers coming from all the country.
We also were pleased to take part in each festival of our Communities and Areas. In May, it was in area of Brussels. A concert of jazz was organized with Fine sand or we also could meet the persons in charge for organizations which are invested in aspects of the common good such as the defense of the environment, the creation of jobs, the training of young people by teaching, the sport and the culture.
In July, we took part in the festival of the Flemish Community in a rural district of the South of Limbourg, in Heers. We met there artists who exposed their open in the large ones and beautiful farms. This original mixture of art and rurality conquered us. At mid-September, we were in Namur at the time of the Festivals of Wallonia.
There we could traverse an interesting didactic exposure on the history of our federalism, take part in the popular festival and admire the address of the waders. At the end of September, we celebrated in Liege the French Community with a very appreciated spectacle of the Higher School of Arts of the Circus. Lastly, in November, it was with the tower of the German-speaking Community to organize a beautiful celebration of its festival with Btgenbach.
With the occasion of these many contacts with the population, I felt how much, in spite of the obstacles, the desire of "better living together" is real. It is a little like if each Area or the Community, having acquired a broad autonomy, wished to approach the others in a new way. That appears of many manners like, for example, the desire to learn the language from other Communities. That is also expressed by the bringing together between universities of North and the South in particular between the ULB and the VUB, and between the KUL and the UCL. That is still illustrated by the growing success of the initiatives of the Funds Prince Philippe which encourages the exchanges between Communautés, particularly between young people. Not less revealing is the satisfaction of the Areas or the Communities, when they perceive successes or the efforts of economic recovery undertaken by another Area.
All these facts express a message of agreement and harmony which we owe, in spite of the difficulties, to continue to promote with courage, between our Areas and our Communities and all the inhabitants of our country. In any case, any form of separatism is rejected by the immense majority of our fellow-citizens. It is with this will of harmony and peace, that the Queen and me and all our Family, we wish you with each one and each one of happy festivals of Christmas and an excellent news year. "