Spain's crown prince endorses strategy of Cervantes Institute

Merida, Spain, Jul 23 (EFE).- Spain's crown prince and his wife presided Tuesday over a working session of the Cervantes Institute, founded in 1991 to promote the Spanish language and the culture of the Ibero-American nations.

Prince Felipe expressed his support for the Cervantes' "great goal" of making itself a truly Ibero-American organization.

"An Ibero-American path that combines talent, cultural diversity and linguistic variety," the crown prince said at the meeting.

Cervantes Institute director Victor Garcia de la Concha said Monday that in a globalized world, not being partners with all the other Spanish-speaking countries would be an "unpardonable mistake."

The Annual Meeting of the Cervantes Institute, which ends next Thursday in Merida, is being attended by some 70 of its directors.

After addresses by Garcia de la Concha and the crown prince, the Cervantes directors of Casablanca, Istanbul, Paris and Tokyo described the progress of Spanish in their areas.

Garcia de la Concha, who recalled that the crown prince and princess have attended the Annual Meeting for several years, said at the session that these are times of both crisis and expansion for the institute.

In a later appearance before the media, Garcia de la Concha said that those attending the meeting came to the conclusion that they must "reach a new level."

Not only should the institute be dedicated to teaching good Spanish, but to creating a faculty for training Spanish teachers, to evaluating and certifying knowledge of the subject, and to developing new methods online where there are already "thousands and thousands" of students, he said.

Prince Felipe noted in the session that Spanish is the nation's product "for which there is the greatest demand in the rest of the world" and whose "value is at its peak" in areas of the Asia Pacific region.

For Garcia de la Concha, the Cervantes Institute "has become what it is today thanks to the crown."