In his annual Christmas address to the nation, His Royal Highness Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg touched on numerous subjects including populism, climate change, Luxembourg’s infrastructure and reasons to celebrate.
He discussed the rise of populism saying, “In the eyes of observers, the rise of populism seemed inexorable to some of our neighbours. The events of the last few months have not gone in that direction…The change of ambience restores confidence to approach the future: it’s time again to debate ideas and concrete projects, especially deepening the European integration which is more necessary than ever. This is a sign that fear and self-surrender has been replaced by a more determined approach to face challenges of our time.”
His Royal Highness also spoke about the seriousness of global warming and climate change. He stated, “Time is of the essence because scientific studies show that we are on the verge of irreversibility. During this holiday season, where the concept of “solidarity” takes on a particular resonance, let us be fully aware of our responsibility to others and to the planet. Our society has frameworks that allow us to go beyond our personal interests. It is primarily within the family that basic solidarity is practised…And if our “living together” is still expressed mainly in the national context, we see at the same time that the European construction gradually gives rise to a solidarity between Europeans that we have never known before.”
He later added, “Beyond that, there is the solidarity between men and women, all inhabitants of the same planet. This is where one has to play a major role to overcome the challenges humanity has rarely known.”
Regarding infrastructure in Luxembourg, the Grand Duke told of a recent visit with Grand Duchess Maria Teresa to the opening of a new tram, calling it a “great day for mobility” and added that it was an “important step in the history of the infrastructure of our country.” On the upcoming infrastructure, he said, “I express the wish that this new service meets the success it deserves so that everyone can play their part by spending less time to get to work. But also so that the economic development of our country is not thwarted and that it can continue in a sustainable and harmonious way.”
Lastly, Grand Duke Henri remarked on how people should not forget their fellow citizens who are struggling during this time, saying that these people “require our full attention.”
He also expressed the need to rejoice over the holiday for those who celebrate and also sent warm wishes to those lonely or ill over the festive season. The Grand Duke closed his speech wishing the entire country, on behalf of the whole Grand Ducal Family, “a very happy Christmas and a new year full of joy and success.”