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Statements by President of the Government on programme "La Tarde", on Cadena COPE

Cadena COPE, Madrid, Monday 29 January 2018

Ángel Expósito.- Mr Mariano Rajoy, President of the Government, good afternoon.

President of the Government.- Good afternoon Ángel, and all of those there with you.

Á. Expósito.- As a matter of form, the General will provide information and update the President of the Government.

General Romero.- Good afternoon, President of the Government. Without new movement on the front. We continue patrolling morning, noon and night to create peace and stability in this land that has been so harshly punished.

President of the Government.- I am extremely grateful, General, and be aware that your work and that of all of your collaborators is very important for Spain and for people everywhere. We are on many missions. This is a UN mission, but we are also on missions for the European Union, NATO and the Coalition against DAESH. We are out there, helping to keep peace, recover normality and we provide training in many other places to servicemen from other countries, something greatly needed.

Á. Expósito.- President of the Government, I am here with Corporals Mercedes Maya Francisco José Gutiérrez Falcato, and, in all honesty, one has a feeling of pride when you are in such a complicated country with people sporting the Spanish flag on their shoulder. It is impossible to convey the pleasure and sense of pride you feel at being here, President of the Government.

President of the Government.- That makes me very happy. I had the chance, not long ago, to visit Spanish servicemen. I think the Lebanon is one of the few places I haven't been; but I have visited Afghanistan, Mali, Senegal, Turkey - we are based there, in Adana - and Djibouti. Spain is truly one of the countries making the greatest effort at this time on international missions.

A great many people often do not understand exactly what the Army's mission is; but the Army guarantees security, liberty and the rights of the Spanish people and of all of our allies throughout the world. That is guaranteed throughout the world. The Army helps keeps the peace, helps many civilian populations to recover normality, also trains police forces from other countries, etc. Just look at how many people have just been saved in the Mediterranean in the operation being undertaken together with Italy and some other countries.

I believe that we can feel very proud of what our servicemen do and that is something that Spanish society as a whole increasingly acknowledges.

Á. Expósito.- President of the Government, What shall I say if I am asked, in the time I have left here, about the problem of Catalonia and about what will happen tomorrow in the regional parliament?

President of the Government.- I believe a ruling was handed down by the Constitutional Court yesterday that is very clear and has reassured us all, and responds, in law and politically, to common sense. In other words, a man who has fled justice, who has sought to unilaterally wipe out our national sovereignty and national unity, clearly cannot be the president of anything.

Hence, I can say to you that they should remain calm, because fortunately we have the rule of law, the law and the Constitution in Spain, and our courts work well and that, of course, for as long as I am President of the Government, whatever people may say to me, I will meet the most important obligation I have, which is to guarantee national unity. Other things are also very important, but this is the fundamental priority of any President of the Government.

General Romero.- Mr President of the Government, for our part, rest assured that those of us who are here carrying out our mission will continue to do this to the best of our abilities in the conviction that the work we carry out here does indeed contribute, to a great extent, not only to security in these lands, but also to the security of our families and of Spain.

President of the Government.- Absolutely, General. You can feel very proud of what you are doing, you and all those who are helping you. Thank you.

Á. Expósito.- President of the Government, Mr Mariano Rajoy, thank you.

President of the Government.- Thank you very much Ángel.

Non official translation