Vladimir Putin: Dear Mr Mayor!
Ladies and gentlemen!
I am very glad to be able to spend these days in Spain and especially in Madrid.
Madrid has had the honoured status of capital city for over four hundred years. And through its enormous contribution to all spheres of the country's life, Madrid has proved more than once that it is the heart and business centre of Spain.
I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate all inhabitants of Madrid on this occasion and to wish all Spanish people well-being and prosperity.
Madrid's anniversary as the capital of Spain is, undoubtedly, a mark in world history. This is because Madrid has been at the centre of key global events more than once. Madrid incorporated and accumulated the traditions of extremely varied religions and cultures.
It is hard to disagree with those who say that 'Madrid is inexhaustible, unlike a human being', that it has 'thousands of facets' and that it 'holds a thousand cities within it'.
Madrid's anniversary as the capital of Spain is a truly European event. Millions of people in the world know about your city and dream of seeing it with their own eyes. And they do not only dream about treasures such as El Pardo or this hall, which is in itself a work of art.
Throughout the centuries, Madrid's special romantic atmosphere has truly inspired artists, poets and musicians. Our outstanding composer Mikhail Glinka wrote a well-known piece called Summer Night in Madrid. I must say that you have a winter night just like we have a summer one.
Dear ladies and gentlemen!
Today Madrid is a dynamic city that is looking towards the future. It is difficult not to notice its impressive successes. Mr Mayor has just spoken about the tremendous rates of development that exceed the European average rate by 17 times. It is very pleasant for us that Madrid is making a significant contribution to the development of relations between Spain and Russia. This especially concerns ties between regions.
I am confident that the economic, scientific, educational and cultural potential of your city shall grow from year to year and play a significant role in Russian-Spanish relations.
I see this key of the city, the key of Madrid, as a sign of our cooperation and partnership. And not only as a symbol of trust and respect, but also of the fact that we aspire to have the closest possible relations.
I am convinced that the doors of our cities will always be open to one another.