Hoe men op alle niveaus met Spinoza toch goed uit de hoek komt…

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Speech by President Barroso at the official dinner hosted by Shimon Peres, President of Israel

Mr President,
Ambassadors,
Distinguished guests,
Ladies and gentlemen,
 
I would like to start by thanking very warmly President Peres for his gracious words, for his warm welcome and for this magnificent dinner in the company of so many distinguished guests and friends.

President Peres, you have already won your place in the gallery of the Great Men of Israel. Your biography follows closely that of your country and you have been present and associated, in different capacities, with the most important moments of Israel's life. We are very privileged to have you as an interlocutor and myself personally I treasure all the moments we have shared in different capacities, even when I was a very young Foreign Minister in my country and I visited this country in 1994, or when I had the privilege of exchanging views and receiving the advice and the wisdom of President Peres in different capacities.

I will not burden you with a long speech. I have in mind the wise words of Baruch Spinoza, who said, and I quote "the world would be happier if men had the same capacity to be silent as they have to speak".

Nonetheless, I need to tell you that I am very happy to be back to Israel, this time as President of the European Commission.
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