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Grand Duke Henri gives Christmas Eve address

Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg has given his annual Christmas Eve address to the people of Luxembourg. The speech was aired at 7:00 pm (6:00 pm GMT) in the small landlocked country.

HRH Grand Duke Henri – Grand Ducal Palace – Luxembourg – 15.12.2016 © 2016 Grand-Ducal Court / Claude Piscitelli / all rights reserved

In his speech, the Grand Duke spoke about the uncertainties of the world with tragedy and war and hope for better days ahead. He made a special mention to the ongoing civil war in Syria specifically speaking about Aleppo.

His Royal Highness said, “The reasons for believing in progress have not disappeared in our world today. In spite of multiple crises and of all kinds, humanity, in general, knows certain favourable evolutions. Life expectancy continues to grow dramatically, in other continents extreme poverty has declined in recent decades, science makes advances every day, overall household wealth increases, although their distribution remains very uneven.”

The Grand Duke touched on the economic situation since the recession that began in 2008 and how it has impacted the financial stability of families and governments and the fear of social downgrading. It was then that he focused on the tragedy in Aleppo.

He said, “The acceleration of globalisation, the wars, of which the tragedy of Aleppo is the last example, and the terrorist attacks that are at the origin of the influx of migrants, gave the impression of a tipping of time and raised questions about identity.”

He spoke about how he believes that “fear is a bad adviser” when it comes to the terror and tragedies unfolding in our world. Grand Duke Henri said, “Public action can only respond with reason to the passions that can be expressed here and there. And it will regain its nobility by demonstrating that it is not lagging behind events, but that it is capable of controlling them.”

His Royal Highness is proud that Luxembourg has taken in so many migrants from the war-torn Middle East and is thankful for the welcome the citizens have given them.

Luxembourg is “not immune” to the things occurring all over the world, the Grand Duke also said. He then went on to mention upcoming “electoral consultations” and his hope that peaceful democracy remains by avoiding “personal attacks, low blows, and excessive language.” He sees the peaceful democracy as a model for greater good.

He ended his speech on a positive note about the country and all those gathering together to enjoy time with their loved ones. His Royal Highness also implored the people to help one another and to do good in the world.

The Grand Duke concluded his speech by saying, “In this state of mind, with the Grand Duchess, Grand Duke Jean, Prince Guillaume and Princess Stephanie, I wish you all the best to have a very good Christmas and to attack the new year, full of optimism.”

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