Spanish Crown Prince Felipe receives a present from the Panamanian First Lady Marta Linares de Martinelli during the celebration of the 5th centenary of the discovery of the Pacific Ocean by the Spanish Conquistador Vasco Nunez de Balboa in Panama city, Panama, on 20 October 2013. EFE
Panama City, Oct 20 (EFE).- Spain's Crown Prince Felipe presided Sunday along with Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli at the closing ceremony of the 5th Centennial of the discovery of the Pacific Ocean by Vasco Nuñez de Balboa, to whom tribute was paid before a statue of the explorer that Spain's King Alfonso XIII presented to Panama 100 years ago.
On his latest trip to Panama, where he participated in several events within the framework of the 23rd Ibero-American Summit, Prince Felipe emphasized the growing links between Spaniards and Panamanians and was presented with a miniature replica of the Balboa statue.
In his speech, the prince, who was accompanied by Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo, made reference to the gift by his great-grandfather to Panama to commemorate the fourth centennial of the discovery and took advantage of the occasion to relay a message of "affection, friendship and brotherhood" from King Juan Carlos.
The king could not travel to Panama because he is recovering from hip surgery.
The prince said that the discovery of the Pacific was the first act of globalization and emphasized that, in the following centuries, other Spanish explorers and navigators departing from the American viceroyalties traversed and renamed the "Southern Sea" as the Pacific Ocean.
"Spain feels honored to be able to contribute to Panamanian prosperity and dynamism through the work of our companies and professionals, which are present in the main sectors of the economy of Panama, thus contributing to improving the well-being and prosperity of its citizens," the prince said.
Martinelli brought the ceremony to a close by asking the prince to convey to the king his wish for a quick recovery and emphasizing the discovery of the Pacific as an act of vital importance for world trade and for Panama.
Panama City, Oct 20 (EFE).- Spain's Crown Prince Felipe on the weekend in Panama inaugurated the 5th International Congress of the Spanish Language with praise for the "good reader," saying that such a person is "someone disposed to dialogue (and) ... open and prepared for the reasoned discussion of the public sphere and social problems."
Felipe, in the last speech in Panama on his trip to participate in various events within the framework of the 23rd Ibero-American Summit, inaugurated the congress along with Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli.
In his speech, he said that the meeting's program includes discussing many relevant questions on books, writing, intellectual property and authors' rights and how a book is edited, published and distributed to bookstores and libraries.
"But basically everything boils down to the ... reader, a good reader," emphasized the prince, who was accompanied by Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo.
The prince said that high school teachers throughout Ibero-America - and there are about 1,000 Panamanian teachers at the conference - have a basic task in the educational process, which is the creation of readers, something that is "basic for any study and ... for the creation of good citizens."
He said that the language conference is an opportunity to reflect on and debate about the book in society, and he relayed a greeting from Spain's King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia to those attending the gathering.
He also made a number of historical references as they pertain to books, including the 1605 publication of Spain's iconic novel "Don Quixote" and the Spanish Golden Age, and emphasized the work over the past "300 fertile years" of the Royal Spanish Academy of language, the Association of Spanish Language Academies and the Cervantes Institute.