(In English) Speaking in Antequera, Mariano Rajoy supports the candidature of the Antequera Dolmens for the UNESCO World Heritage Site list
fter visiting the Antequera Dolmens Archaeological Site the President of the Government expressed the Government's support for the bid to have these megalithic works added to UNESCO's World Heritage list.
There are "more than enough reasons", he explained, for the Antequera Dolmens to be on the list, because of their extraordinary state of conservation and their natural setting, and also because they "constitute a landmark in the history of civilization." Specifically, Rajoy pointed out that the Menga Dolmen is the first megalithic structure from Prehistoric Times to face a terrestrial object rather than the sun, "representing a vital step in human evolution."
The President of the Government said that this site "forms part of the narrative of our history, of what we were, what we are, and what we can achieve together," and that it constitutes "a further example, along with many others, of a legacy that is shared by all of us." He also stressed the cultural and artistic wealth of Spain, the country with the third largest World Heritage, behind only Italy and China.
Mariano Rajoy expressed his thanks for the commitment demonstrated to the candidature from all the institutions, ranging from the Government of Andalusia, which presented the application, to the Spanish Historical Heritage Council (made up of representatives from central government and all the regional governments), as well as the town council of Antequera. "Obviously, to protect the heritage you have to know how to appreciate it; and that is impossible if it isn't known. That is why I would like to express my recognition of the work being done to spread the knowledge of the Dolmen Archaeological Site, which contributes decisively to conserve, protect and gain recognition for the cultural, historical, artistic and natural diversity of Spain," he explained.
Issues in the news
With respect to Catalonia, Mariano Rajoy was asked by journalists on the position of the European Union, which insisted on Thursday that if a part or autonomous region of a member state declares itself independent it will automatically be left outside the European Union. Mariano Rajoy answered that this is indeed the case: "You simply have to read the treaties."
He also recalled that this opinion coincides with that expressed in recent days by the President of the United States, Barak Obama, the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel and the British Prime Minister, David Cameron.
However, he was convinced that the situation would not go that far: "It would be absolutely crazy and I am absolutely convinced that in the end common sense will prevail." He added: "That is absolutely what I want as President of the Government, as the Spaniard I am and feel myself to be, and as a person who forms part of a country that is the oldest in Europe, because we are the people who have lived together for the longest time."
The President of the Government stressed that his feeling was also shared by "the immense majority of the Spanish people who see Catalonia as a very important part of the country and as a driver of progress."
With respect to the statement by the President of the Regional Government of Andalusia, Susana Díaz, in defence of the Constitution, Rajoy explained that he agreed with her one hundred per cent. In his opinion, it is essential that the two major parties that represent a large majority of Spanish people should agree on some issues.
Asylum for refugees
The head of government said that "In no way can Spain refuse to give asylum to those who have the right to it, because that is one of the basic principles and pillars of our civilization."
Mariano Rajoy recalled that Spain's position "is very clear" and was ratified "with the support of practically the whole of the Lower House of Parliament", which approved an increase in the budget earmarked for the reception and care of asylum seekers.
In addition, he highlighted that he has called a meeting of the autonomous regions and local councils to deal with the refugee crisis: "Spain will rise to the occasion, as already happened at other difficult times we have lived through."