A few years ago, the then King of Spain gave a public speech encouraging young people to leave Spain in order to find work experience abroad, and we responded to this defeatist message of long-term talent drain with the words: ‘’Shame on you‘’
The history of our creative power, our sporting strength, and our artistic influence could be told through the words and work of some of our home-grown talent such as: María Zambrano, Francisco Suarez, Pablo Alborán, Pablo Picasso, Eva Yerbabuena, Vicente Aleixandre, Carlos Álvarez, Antonio Banderas, Jesús Navas, Sergio Ramos and Isco.
However, the significance of our region belongs neither to the famous personalities nor the notable historical figures. The true value of Andalusia belongs to us; ordinary, everyday people. The true value of Andalusia belongs to the fabric of our identity which is based on a history of cultural diversity, a tenacious pride in the soil we fertilise, our friendliness, and our generosity of spirit. This is who we are, and we will not be encouraged to leave, and we will not be bullied by quick-fix austerity measures, or disheartened by corruption. We say to our fellow Spaniards and the international world: ‘’Come to Andalusia and we can teach each other how to make our great county even greater.’’
It is with great pride and joy that I can say to you: ”Happy Andalusia Day” My blood maybe British, my nationality Irish, but my heart will always be part Andalusian.VIVA ANDALUSIA.