ASTURIAS MEDALS 2023 | The Principality awards the Medals of Asturias to four professionals in medicine, politics and culture

The Governing Council has decided today four of the five Asturias medals of 2023. The highest institutional distinctions of the Principality – which will be formally approved at a subsequent meeting of the Executive – reward prestigious professional careers in the fields of medicine, the projection of Asturias , political activity and culture. The fifth and last medal will also be agreed upon in another session of the Governing Council.

Specifically, they will receive this recognition:

  • Luis Fernandez-Vega. Born in Oviedo in 1952, he is a Doctor of Medicine and Surgery from the Complutense University of Madrid and, until his retirement last year, he was Professor of Ophthalmology at the University of Oviedo and head of the specialty at the Central University Hospital of Asturias (HUCA). ). Director of the Fernández-Vega Ophthalmological Institute, his professional career has made him a benchmark in the specialty inside and outside Spain. Until last December, he chaired the Princess of Asturias Foundation, a job he carried out over four years (2018-2022). During her tenure, Princess Leonor gave her first public speech at an award ceremony for the awards that the foundation awards each year, just as her father, King Felipe VI, had done years before. The Fundación Princesa awards constitute a cultural milestone of international relevance that contributes to the projection and prestige of Asturias throughout the world.
  • Laura Gonzalez Alvarez. Elected councilor for Avilés in the first democratic municipal elections in 1979, Laura González (Avilés, 1942) has dedicated a large part of her life to political activity. In addition to contributing from municipalism to democratic consolidation during the Transition, she was the first woman to chair the General Meeting, a position she held from June 1991 to January 1993. She has also been Minister of Housing and Welfare of the Government of the Principality and MEP .
  • Xose Lluis Garcia Arias. Born in Teverga in 1945, Xosé Lluis García Arias is one of the main scholars and disseminators of the Asturian language. PhD in Romance Philology from the University of Oviedo, he was president of the Academy of Asturian Language (ALLA) from 1981 to 2001, from where he carried out intense work in defense and dissemination of Asturian. He highlights in his trajectory the writing of the Etymoloxicu Dictionary of the Asturian Language, with which Asturian registers a scientific treatment among the Hispanic languages. He was also the first president of Conceyu Bable.
  • Maria Teresa Alvarez. The journalist and writer María Teresa Álvarez (Candás, 1945) is from her professional work and her literary creation a reference scholar of the role of women in history. She developed important television work, first at the regional TVE center in Asturias, and then in Madrid, where she specialized in making historical and cultural documentaries. The story is also the main foundation of her literary work. María Teresa Álvarez is the widow of General Sabino Fernández Campo, former head of the King’s House and Count of Latores.

Favorite son of Asturias

The Governing Council has also decided to propose the granting of the title of Favorite Son/Favorite Daughter to three other people who have stood out for their services to the benefit of Asturias, and who enjoy recognized prestige and the general consideration of society. When formally approved, this proposal will be sent to the General Meeting. The distinctions go to:

  • Rector Leopoldo Alas Argüelles (Oviedo, 1883-1937). Arrested, subjected to a court martial and executed by Franco’s troops in 1937, the execution of rector Leopoldo Alas was one of the most representative events of the cruelest repression and intolerance during the first months of the Civil War in Asturias. The Government of the Principality will propose to recognize the figure of the rector Alas Argüelles with the posthumous appointment of Favorite Son.
  • Angeles Florez Peon, maricuela. Born in Blimea (San Martín del Rey Aurelio) in 1917 and historically affiliated with the Socialist Party, maricuela embodies a whole generation of women who fought the dictatorship and fought for freedoms in times of repression, especially difficult for women. maricuela He paid with jail and exile for his commitment to freedom and democracy, of which he is a benchmark today.
  • Antonio Suarez Gutierrez. The Asturian-Mexican businessman Antonio Suárez (Oviedo, 1942) is the visible head of the holding company Grupo Marítimo Industrial (GrupoMar), from which he has maintained a close commercial collaboration with different Asturian entities and companies for years. The businessman’s relationship with Asturias extends to his socio-cultural involvement in institutions such as the Princess of Asturias Foundation or the Indianos Archive-Museum of Emigration. In 2012 he was awarded the Silver Medal of the Principality of Asturias.

Adoptive son of Asturias

The Executive has also agreed to grant a title of adoptive child, a distinction reserved for those who have stood out for their services for the benefit of the autonomous community, regardless of their place of birth (that is, it is provided for people who were not born In asturias). As in the previous case, this proposal will be transferred to the General Meeting once it is formally approved.

Juan Ramon Lucas. Born in Madrid in 1958, the journalist Juan Ramón Lucas has always exercised his Asturias. The son of a father from Colombres and a mother from Miere, Lucas has been one of the radio operators with the highest audiences in recent years. From his professional work and his social projection, he is one of the best ambassadors of Asturias due to his continuous references to the Principality in a widely distributed medium.

The General Board approved in April 2022 a bill of the Government of the Principality that unifies the two types of medals (gold and silver) that previously existed in a single category, understanding that the merits to receive this honor must be of great relevance and consideration in all cases.

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