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King Philippe’s Christmas address: Call for an effective government to be put in place as rapidly as possible
In his annual address to the nation on Christmas Eve, King Philippe of Belgium evoked the underprivileged and victims of injustice, poverty and exclusion when recalling that Christmas and New Year were moments of joy and homecoming for many.
While focusing on the major challenges facing Belgium and the planet, there were fewer political references compared to previous editions, reports RTBF. But seven months after federal elections and with still no coalition government in place, the monarch said it was necessary to put in place as rapidly as possible a fully effective federal government, capable of taking balanced and firm decisions. “This is what we all count on without further ado,” he said.
Lasting a little more than four minutes and seated in an armchair in front of a Christmas tree in the Brussels Royal Palace, King Philippe’s speech was recorded in Belgium’s three national languages, French, Dutch and German as well as sign language.
Alluding to a pivotal era, another key message was the need for “a questioning of our social, economic and environmental model” and the “numerous challenges” facing the country and planet, notably climatic. “It’s not a time for renunciation,” he insisted.
Said the king: “To change things, it’s important first to be convinced and act in consequence. We are responsible for our acts. We should be more aware that our individual behaviour has implications for others. Let us not give in to short-termism. Let us privilege the long-term. By investing in solutions where we will not necessary see the results ourselves, but which will benefit generations to follow.”
In a reference to his daughter Princess Elisabeth’s 18th birthday celebrations earlier in the year, he repeated his credo that the country had an enormous potential and the capacity to tackle challenges, “provided we join forces and seek unity in diversity, respecting the sensibilities of everyone”.
Photo: King Philippe/Filip of Belgium, 18 December 2019 © BELGA/Francisco Seco