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On Thursday, October 10th, Spain's Ambassador and Mrs. Fernando Carderera, along with the Spanish Embassy Missions, celebrated Spain's National - "Columbus Day".

 

The reception was held in the beautiful garden of the Ambassador's residence in Herzliya. Hundreds of distinguished guests came to congratulate the Ambassador and his wife, embassy staff and the Spanish people on this special day.

 

The honored guests included Gideon Saar, Minister of the Interior, (previously Education Minister), ambassadors, members of the diplomatic missions in Israel, members of the foreign ministry, business leaders and friends of the Embassy.

 

His Excellency, the Ambassador, surprised guests when he began his speech with a fluent Hebrew blessing, and then continued speaking in English. He said that since Spain is a key nation in Jewish history, the relationship between the two states is founded on many common interests and shared values. The relations between Israel and Spain are both complex and intense because their histories are also complex and intense. He noted that Spain and Israel have so much in common and therefore sees particular importance in developing relations in the fields of culture, education, science, new technology, research, trade and investment.

 

He also noted that there is growing presence of Spanish companies in Israel. Valoriza, is about to complete construction of a desalination plant in Ashdod; Abengoa is building solar plants; Telefónica has a subsidiary in Israel; and several Spanish companies want to take part in the construction of Israel's plan to improve its infrastructure.

 

Ambassador Carderera said that the economic situation in Spain has significantly improved in the last twelve months. Important reforms are already in place, public deficit has been reduced, productivity has improved, exports have increased and the Spanish current account balance has a surplus for the first time since 1997. He added that Spanish corporations are world leaders in key sectors such as renewable energy, infrastructure management, high-speed railways, biotechnology, naval technology, environmental technology, air and space systems, among others. He added, in Hebrew that Spain would like to use all this potential to do business and cooperate with Israel in all possible sectors.

Furthermore, he said that his country has invested a lot in international efforts to attaining peace in the Middle East, and that Spain fully supports Israel's right for security. Spain is committed to a two State solution through direct negotiations, including the creation of a viable Palestinian State that will recognize Israel

 

Ambassador Fernando Carderera raised a glass to toast to the long life and wellbeing of the Heads of the State of Israel, President Shimon Peres and to His Majesty King Juan Carlos of Spain, as well as to our mutual friendship. Minister Sa'ar raised a glass in a toast to Spain and expressed his best wishes for prosperity and continuing friendship between the two nations.

Minister of the Interior Gideon Sa'ar congratulated His Majesty Juan Carlos the First, the government and people of Spain on the occasion of Spain's National Day, on behalf of the Government of Israel and the people of Israel. He said that bilateral relations between Israel and Spain are continuing to deepen and flourish. Friendly and productive ties are seen across many spheres – such as the political, economic, commercial, research, science, technology and cultural. In April of this year Spain's Foreign Minister visited Israel along with important economic delegations. Israel's embassy in Spain celebrated the 65th Anniversary of Israel's Independence under the heading of cooperation for innovation and growth. These events were followed with great interest in Spain.

 

Minister Sa'ar mentioned the joint history of Spain and the Jewish people and pointed out that the two countries share a common struggle in the uncompromising fight against terrorism and in so, acknowledged Spain for the participation of its forces in UNIFIL in southern Lebanon. He also noted that Spain's culture holds a place of honor among the people of Israel. Many Israelis have a great interest in the Spanish cultural scene and, of course, in Spain's famous football teams. The Minister stressed the importance of strengthening ties between the young generations of both countries.

The food, as we learned, was prepared courtesy of the ambassador's wife Victoria Carderera with most foods prepared by her personally. Among the special foods prepared for the occasion were the Spanish delicacies such as: tapas, including excellent meats and cheese brought specially from Spain for the occasion, croquetas, tortillas and a kosher corner. All food was accompanied by the best Spanish cava and wine.

 

During the event, a video was screened showing Spain's key companies and innovative technologies as well as the country's beauty, which attracts hordes of tourists each year.

When singing the anthems of Spain and Israel, the Ambassador again surprised guests by joining in the singing of the Israeli anthem in Hebrew, delighting all Israelis who were present.

In the artistic part of the event, Silvia Duran and her flamenco school performed traditional Spanish flamenco dancing.

The beautiful layout of the venue, wonderful stage lighting and tasteful decorations contributed to a cozy atmosphere and very nice and pleasant evening.

 

Photo Silvia Golan

 

 

 

 

 

Photo Silvia Golan