Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez presided over the ceremony awarding the Grand Cross of the Civil Order of Alfonso X the Wise to Joan Manuel Serrat. A decoration awarded by the Council of Ministers to those who have distinguished themselves for their merits in culture, education, research, science or teaching, doing essential work in Spanish society and “shaping who we are as a country,” Moncloa said in a press statement.
Sánchez stressed that this award “is a debt owed by Spaniards” and “the symbol of the immense affection, deep admiration and sincere gratitude that we profess” to Serrat, after 56 years of a successful career, and emphasised that “his songs have always sought to contribute to tolerance within society” and have inspired “coexistence, freedom and love for art and culture for hundreds of thousands of people”.
Sánchez also stressed that the Catalan singer-songwriter has denounced “the injustice and terror of authoritarianism”, “fought for memory and against rancour”, and “helped to transmit awareness of the diversity of languages in our country, both inside and outside Spain like few others”.
Joan Manuel Serrat said he was “moved” and “happy” to receive this distinction, which was previously awarded to other personalities from the world of culture who have accompanied him throughout his life and artistic career.
The event was attended by the Minister for Education and Vocational Training, Pilar Alegría, the Minister for Territorial Policy and Government Spokesperson, Isabel Rodríguez, and the Minister for Culture and Sport, Miquel Iceta.
Also present were personalities from the world of culture and friends of Joan Manuel Serrat, such as Ana Belén, Víctor Manuel, Miguel Ríos, Luis García Montero, Iñaqui Gabilondo, Eva Amaral and Rozalén, among others. The latter performed “Aquellas pequeñas cosas”, one of Serrat’s most emblematic songs.