As is tradition, the reigning monarchs of Europe offered their messages for the new year this past week. They were varied as one would expect, but also highlighting common themes of the economy and the environment – which would be expected.
HM King Harald of Norway spoke of the origins of the economic issues stating: “There are many reasons for the financial crisis, but at one level it seems to be tied to the hunt for short term profit. In this sense the crisis may possibly serve as a reminder that economy and society cannot one-sidedly be based on material values.” He urged the Norwegian people to continue to be eco-minded saying warning: “We may have been better at counting our money than our days. If we are not able to handle the imbalance in the global climate, we may be facing very serious consequences.” He highlighted service to the community and giving to others as goals for the year.
HM Queen Margrethe of Denmark touched on the economy and environment as well, but also highlighted the role of young people in the coming years. “Young people want to address and explore new avenues. They educate themselves…they travel and get impressions from distant countries. It gives them a broader horizon than perhaps my generation had when we grew up. We must show young people that we need them. We must create space so that they can make have the experiences needed to bring our society forward.” She sent special thoughts and a greeting to the Danish troops in Afghanistan: “Right now my thoughts go out to our soldiers in Afghanistan. The Crown Princess just visited them and meeting with the Danish soldiers and our allies left a deep impression on her. The task they have is not easy, but they do it with determination and skill, and they show courage that we must admire. They must know that they, and their relatives, often are in my thoughts and that their loss affects me deeply. Together with Prince Henrik and Crown Prince Couple, I send them all my warmest greetings and good wishes for the new year.”
In the tiny principality of Monaco, HSH Prince Albert gave a radio address to his people. His focus, like the others, was on the economy and its effect on the tiny country. “The year was marked by the global economic crisis with the many consequences that entails, especially in the social sphere, even if our country was less severely affected and sees signs of recovery in the last quarter. It is my hope that this crisis will lead us to recognize the need to adapt our development to environmental conservation,” the Prince said.
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