Spanish Prince Speaks on Globalization

By Tim Sullivan Hoya Staff Writer

His Royal Highness Prince Felipe of Asturias of Spain (MSFS ’95) said he was happy to be back at Georgetown yesterday, where he “spent two of the most pleasant and rewarding years” of his academic life. Returning to his alma mater, the prince returned to commemorate the first lecture by the Prince of Asturias Chair in Spanish Studies, whose creation he spearheaded.

The chair, sponsored by the Spanish electric company Endesa, will be held by Dr. Jesus de Miguel, formerly of the University of Barcelona. De Miguel followed the Prince’s address with the chair’s inaugural lecture, “Democracy and Equality: Spain in the Twenty-first Century.”

Prince Felipe said that he is certain that de Miguel “will set the tone and pace for the chair to grow and become a landmark in Georgetown’s academic offer for students interested in Europe, the editerranean and also our special link to Latin America.”

The prince also took the opportunity to briefly address the issue of responsibility in the face of globalization. He said that globalization has revolutionized the way the world functions economically. Because of technical innovations, he said, “market access has become essentially universal.”

He said that the international community must adapt to these changes to ensure that globalization does not have detrimental effects. “This global network is like a body whose explosive physical growth has far outstripped its moral or ethical development,” he said. “One of the major issues which we face today is how to ensure responsibility, how to define some indispensable rules to play the game in this new environment.”

Prince Felipe said there have been several developments that he thinks will make it possible to accomplish such a feat. He said there have been “genuinely popular movements that demand much greater attention of our governments towards . countries where intolerable conditions of poverty or disease prevail.”

Among the problems the prince sees in the wake of globalization is the new ease with which criminals can benefit from globalization. “On the international level, we can see the increased awareness and evidence that terrorism, drug trafficking or money laundering have already ‘gone global’ . and any effective action against them requires redefining new levels of international cooperation,” he said.

The reason Prince Felipe chose to create a center for Spanish studies, he said, was to further those ends. “In our endeavor to chart these new waters, we need the guidance of the academic institutions of our countries, for while they are the repositories of tradition and knowledge, they are also sources of wisdom and imagination,” he said.

University President Leo J. O’Donovan, S.J., introduced the prince, who said it was “an honor and a joy” to welcome back what he called a “remarkable alumnus. We are proud to count the prince as a distinguished and loyal alumnus,” O’Donovan said.

Following Prince Felipe’s remarks, de Miguel presented his lecture about the emerging patterns in Spanish politics, particularly the sources of division in Spain. Among the most prevalent, he said, are geography and gender, which he said creates cleavage among Spanish voters.

O’Donovan received two pieces of art as gifts from Rafael iranda Robredo, CEO of Endesa, and presented Robredo with the 1789 Certificate, which the university gives to its most generous donors.

Prince Felipe has been the heir to the Spanish throne since his father, Juan Carlos I, was proclaimed king in 1975. He is the third child of Juan Carlos I and Queen Sofia, but the oldest male child, thus ensuring the line of male succession to the Spanish throne. He was educated both in traditional schools as well as military schools. He competed in the 1992 Summer Olympics for Spain in the sailing competition and also carried the Spanish flag in the opening ceremonies.

The Prince of Asturias Chair in Spanish Studies was founded in 1999 in honor of Prince Felipe by a donation from Endesa.

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