Vitoria-Gasteiz European Green Capital 2012, an "opportunity” for the Basque Country
According to the Lehendakari, Vitoria is "the trail-blazer for the Basque Country to become a sustainability model for the rest of Europe"
The Basque Premier expressed his desire for the Basque Country to become "a green model for Europe" Patxi López also pointed out that "released from the heavy yoke of terrorism, which was how most of the world saw us, there is now an opportunity for us Basques to be known for our true virtues and for us to develop our full potential".
He also noted that Vitoria-Gasteiz being the European Green Capital means being the "vanguard and trail-blazer of a country, the Basque Country, which seeks to be a sustainability model for the rest of Europe".
Vitoria-Gasteiz officially became the European Green Capital 2012 today. This recognises the commitment of the residents and institutions of Vitoria and is an "opportunity to showcase Vitoria-Gasteiz and for foreign and local visitors alike come and discover and enjoy this city," urged the Lehendakari.
The ceremony to mark the start of the year as the European Green Capital 2012 was presided by Queen Sofia of Spain, the Basque Premier, Lehendakari Patxi López, the Minister for the Environment, Miguel Arias Cañete, the Chairman of Álava Provincial Council, Javier de Andrés, the speaker of the Basque Parliament, Arantxa Quiroga, the Mayor of Vitoria-Gasteiz, Javier Maroto and the Director General of the European Union, Karl Falkemberg. The ceremony was held at the Montehermoso Palace in the provincial capital of Álava.
The Lehendakari stressed that being the European Green capital "recognises a commitment to sustainability" which has involved the different municipal corporations and the citizens, who together have been the driving force behind sustainable development.