Civil Society Award 2012 | Esperanza Aguirre

 Museo de la Ciudad de Madrid 19/06/2012 20:00h

Civismo has given the first ever Civil Society Award to the President of the Community of Madrid, Esperanza Aguirre. The Nobel Prize for Literature Mario Vargas Llosa has presented the 2012 Civil Society Award to the President of the Community of Madrid, Esperanza Aguirre, for having turned this region into a ‘citadel of freedom’. The award was given, among other reasons, because Madrid has been the first region in Civismo’s Index of Economic Freedom.

In the words of the Vice President of Civismo, Carlos Espinosa de los Monteros, Aguirre has contributed “decisively to the expansion of the freedom of civil society and the presence of private initiative in Spain”. In fact, Vargas Llosa himself said that the first time he heard her speak he asked himself: Who is this Joan of Arc of freedom? Over the years, he admitted, his respect and admiration for Aguirre have only grown.

The Peruvian added that one of Aguirre’s main virtues is tolerance. “This does not mean being weak”, he said. “We admire Esperanza’s courage to face her opponents with reasons”. Personally, Vargas Llosa stressed that if he admires Aguirre so much, it is because she has taken the monopoly of social justice from the enemies of freedom, “creating jobs or giving companies a stable framework, which is the only effective way to combat poverty and economic discrimination. He pointed out that liberalism is a late flower that does not have a very deep roots, but that has contributed to the greatest advances of humanity. A line of thought that does not have as its sole objective the freedom of the market, but that of the people”, he stressed.

The crisis cannot be solved if citizens abdicate their responsibilities

Esperanza Aguirre

When Aguirre received the award, she did not hide her satisfaction for having contributed to increasing the role of citizens and limiting the interventionism of the Government. Madrid’s president wanted to make it clear that the crisis cannot be solved if citizens abdicate their responsibilities and become “little children for the State”. Otherwise, “one falls into a hypertrophied State, where the creative and entrepreneurial spirit disappears”. Aguirre also noted some of her achievements: “nine years lowering taxes as far as possible”, freedom to choose a doctor or school, the elimination of obstacles to create companies and freedom of business hours.

For this reason, the way to overcome our present situation is to give prominence to citizens and limit the actions of public powers, which have spent more than they could and should reduce public spending.