By Ramiro Fuente.


King Juan Carlos of Spain on Monday expressed to Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff the willingness of Spanish businessmen to invest in Brazil because it is a country that "has understood well" that the economies that "best respect the principle of legal security" are "those that offer their citizens greater well-being."

Without alluding to the controversy with Argentina over YPF's expropriation of Repsol, the monarch reaffirmed Spain's business commitment to Brazil during the luncheon toast offered by Rousseff in his honor at Itamaraty Palace, the seat of the Brazilian Foreign Ministry, where the king concluded a working visit with important economic content.

In her address in response to the king's remarks, Rousseff supported expanding and diversifying Hispano-Brazilian business cooperation and she expressed her confidence in the creativity and strength of the Spanish people in the face of their current economic difficulties and said she was certain that Spain's efforts to overcome the European crisis will be very successful.

On his first trip abroad since his hip operation - and also his first working visit to another country since the conservative Popular Party took over the reins of government - the king came to Brazil accompanied by about 20 Spanish businessmen, among them the presidents of Banco Santander, Repsol, Telefonica, Iberdrola, Indra and Iberia.

Abengoa, Elecnor, Gas Natural Fenosa, Isolux-Corsa, Talgo, Navantia, OHL and Islalink were also part of the business delegation accompanying Juan Carlos, as well as the president of the Superior Council of Chambers of Commerce, Manuel Teruel.

Before Rousseff and the Spanish and Brazilian businessmen attending the luncheon, the king emphasized Spain's determination to overcome the crisis "with the solidity of its institutions ... (and the) excellence" of its human capital, and he stressed that Madrid "is also undertaking significant reforms that will not be long in bearing fruit."

Spain is working with its European partners to "stabilize the financial markets, reduce the interest on the public debt and strengthen the euro," the monarch also emphasized in his speech, which included several paragraphs in Portuguese and in which he stressed that both countries can "greatly contribute to overcoming the crisis" and cooperate "for better global economic governance."

After characterizing Brazil as "the power of the present," supporting it in its aims to achieve greater prominence in international institutions and praising the opening of its economy, Juan Carlos said he was confident that Rousseff on her next visit to Spain would sign a document updating the 2003 Strategic Association Plan in the areas of defense, science and culture.

He emphasized that Spain will offer for the next scholastic term more than 1,500 places in technical careers to Brazilian students and training programs to Brazilian graduates, at the same time that he congratulated Brasilia on the success of establishing Spanish in secondary education in the South American giant.

He also did not fail to mention the initiatives pushed on Monday in Madrid by the Spanish government to facilitate the procedures for Brazilian citizens to enter Spain.

The king, who is walking with the aid of a crutch, was received earlier at the presidential palace by Rousseff, who inquired about his health as they shook hands, and later they both met in private along with their foreign ministers - Spain's Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo and Brazil's Antonio Patriota - and the Brazilian heads of the Finance and Education Ministries. EFE