Spain’s King Felipe VI receives President Iohannis, praises his efforts in reinforcing rule of law

Spain’s King Felipe VI on Monday received president Klaus Iohannis at Zarzuela Palace within the official two-day visit that the Romanian president is paying in Spain.

President Klaus Iohannis  told the official lunch that the Spanish Royal couple extended in his honor that Europe cannot be divided between the euro and non-euro countries, arguing that Romania counts on Spain’s support for accession to the Schengen Area.

“Our states share the same option for a united and solidary Europe, a Europe for the citizens. There cannot be a Europe divided between the north and the south, between the euro and the non-euro countries. Together we are strongest. Romania counts on Spain’s support for completing its European integration by joining the Schengen Area and, when the context is favourable, the Eurozone,” Iohannis said.

He underscored that Spain enjoys appreciation among Romanians.

“Beyond the geographic distance, the Romanians affinity to your country comes from the similarities of language, culture and civilisation, the historic evolutions and the shared common values. Right after the Revolution of 1989, Spain supported, starting from its own experience on the path of democracy, Romania’s accession to NATO and the EU, and the Romanian people gratefully received this support. I want to hail the contributions of His Majesty King Juan Carlos I to the development of the bilateral relation and the closeness between us,” Iohannis said.

The Romanian President thanked Spain for its openess regarding Romanian community living there. “Today, the relation between us has strengthened foundations. I am referring to the Romanian community in Spain. The approximately one million Romanian citizens who live, study and work here contribute to the development of Spain,” the head of state also said.

King Felipe VI: Romania deserves to join Schengen Area

Spain King Felipe VI told the official lunch offered for President Iohannis that Spain is endorsing Romania’s accession to the Schengen Area as it deserves it, considering the current efforts of the Romanian officials.

“Romania has always had in Spain a staunch ally in its European and pro-Atlantic aspirations. Now, when both countries are fully integrated with the European family, our aspirations have to go to the resolute defence of quite many interests we are sharing together. As you know well, Spain is supporting Romania’s accession to the Schengen Area. That is what it deserves for the consistent and sustained efforts deployed to this end by the Romanian officials from Romania’s position as an external border of the EU,” stated Felipe VI, as quoted by Agerpres.

He also mentioned intense relations between Spain and Romania. “There is a kinship between our languages and cultures which roots go back in time to Trajan, the first among Roman emperors to be born in Hispania and a fundamental reference for the Romanian identity,” added the Spanish king.

He said Spain’s Romanians bring an important contribution to the dynamics of the Spanish economy.

“Over the past years, hundreds of Romanian nationals have settled in Spain becoming today’s largest foreign community in Spain. Through its efforts, the Romanian community has brought a significant contribution to the dynamics of Spain’s economy that deserves full recognition,” added the king.

King Felipe VI praised President Iohannis for the efforts in his first months in office as Romania’s president related to the reforms regarding reinforcement of the rule of law.

“After last November’s election, you won the Romanian people’s support for taking over the highest office in the country. Romania is counting on a solid democracy and an open economy, and it is an active and solidary partner within the world’s community. We appreciate your firmness and your efforts during the first months in office in order to build consensus to advance on the path of reforms aimed at fully reinforcing the rule of law and improving the living standards and wellbeing of your citizens,” added the king.

He pointed out that Spain shares Romania’s concerns with security and international law being observed in the eastern parts of the European Union.

“My country, as a friend and ally nation, cannot but support Romania’s vocation of turning into a stability pole in its region. That is why Spain has over the past months joined NATO efforts to strengthen Euro-Atlantic security. (…) After all these years in which crisis severely affected our citizens, our economies are again on a path toward economic growth. We have to join our forces and stick to enhancing economic recovery and stimulating jobs,” the Spanish king added.

He said trade between Spain and Romania reached record high figures in 2014, which should give impetus to the exploitation of the potentials of the two complementary economies by conducting joint cooperation and investment projects.

“Spain knows perfectly well the transformative capability of the European cohesion policy and we want to provide Romania with our knowledge and experience, as we have done in other areas,” Felipe VI argued.

He also mentioned excellent cooperation between Spain and Romania in preventing and neutralizing the most serious threats against daily life as well as organized crime and human trafficking.

The Spanish King also said 135 years of official bilateral ties between Spain and Romania will be celebrated in 2016, adding that a promising future lies ahead of this cooperation. “I am also convinced that your first visit to Spain provides us an opportunity to progress with strengthening the ties that correspond to the mutual affection between our nations and the aspirations of our citizens,” he said.

At the official lunch extended by him and his wife, Queen Letizia, in the honour of President Iohannis and his wife, Carmen, the King mentioned his visit to Romania accompanied by his wife.

“Both the Queen and I have very pleasant memories from our visit to Romania as princess and prince of Asturia in 2009, when we felt the cordiality and hospitality of the Romanian nation as well as the friendship that links our nations,” the king said.

Iohannis invites Spanich companies to invest in energy, industry and agriculture

President Iohannis also met Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy on Monday. During the joint press conference, president Iohannis encouraged the Spanish companies to make direct investments in Romania in fields such as energy, industry and agriculture, underling that “it is room for more” regarding the bilateral commercial exchanges.

“Relations between Romania and Spain entered a new stage in 2013, the one of strategic partnership. Today we discussed concrete ways to fully use the opportunities deriving from this partnership,” Klaus Iohannis stated.

“It is notable that trade between Romania and Spain doubled in the past ten years, with six of them of economic recession. At the end of 2014, the bilateral commercial exchanges reached a record figure and the Spanish investments in Romania mounted to over EUR 1.3bn. Yet, it is room for more,” the Romanian president added.

Klaus Iohannis said that Spanish companies are welcome to invest in all fields, while direct investments could be made in energy, industry and agriculture.

According to Iohannis, the meeting with PM Rajoy also tackled the topic of the double citizenship for Romanians in Spain, explaining there is no simple solution in this regard but that Madrid authorities voiced their openness.

“As you know the Spanish law is clearly stipulating the double citizenship, when it can be granted and when it can’t. Yet, the issue is not simple for Romania, but I found openness and I am optimist that solutions will be available for this problem, too in a reasonable perspective,” the Romanian president pointed out.

In his turn, the Spanish premier said that his country is open to collaborate on this issue, adding that “there is an European citizenship that is enclosing us all.”

About President Iohannis’ meeting with the Romanians living in Spain here:

joint press conferenceKing Felipe VImariano rajoypresident klaus iohannisSpainspanish pmzarzuela palace
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