Luxembourg Published on 24.12.12 14:22

Grand Duke looks back on eventful year in Christmas speech

Grand Duke looks back on eventful year

(CS) In his Christmas speech the Grand Duke looks back on some joyous occasions without failing to acknowledge that Luxembourg is facing big challenges for the future.

Grand Duke Henri said that he was looking back at 2012 with mixed feelings, as a year in which good news and bad news came in quick succession.

But, while the economic crisis abroad and in Luxembourg dominated the news, Henri said the cheerful times should not be forgotten, such as Prince Guillaume's wedding in October to Countess Stéphanie de Lannoy, but also the more recent announcement of Prince Félix's engagement to Claire Lademacher.

The Grand Duke also thanked the country's foreign population who shared this important moment of the Grand Ducal family and indeed the country.

  • Solidarity in times of crisis

However, the Grand Duke also talked about the difficult times the country was experiencing, with companies closing, redundancies and savings measures. The effects that this crisis has on Luxembourg are felt by the people, Henri added, saying that it was important to think of the people who were suffering and to grow together and stand together in this crisis.

Luxembourg's long tradition of social solidarity, within the country but also in Europe and around the world, was especially needed today, he said.

While the crisis was also an opportunity for change and reform, Henri warned that it was also the time to learn from the past and to be aware of the consequences of our actions and to be responsible for the future.

  • Looking forward with courage and trust

Maybe addressing some of the recent rumours which arose in the wake of the Luxembourg secret service scandal about ties of the Grand Duke to the British MI6, Henri said that it was important to remain objective and calm in a world that turns at an ever quicker pace, to be in the service of truth and not to forget the people behind the news.

But the Grand Duke ended on a positive note, saying that he was convinced that Luxembourg's citizens were ready to pave the way for the future. The way Luxembourg will look tomorrow depends on our actions today, he said, adding that the country was ready to take on this challenge and to look forward with courage and trust.

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