Lawyer Enrique de la Mata, a Spanish
parliamentarian and minister, participated in the legalisation of Spanish
trades union and played a role in the transitional period from General
Franco's dictatorship to a constitutional monarchy.
The XXVIth International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent
elected de la Mata, ex-president of the Spanish Red Cross, as chairman. His
stewardship was seen as heralding a "a new era". De la Mata pushed for
constitutional changes to the League and helped to make National Societies more
self-reliant and independent.
De la Mata said: "There is never, or hardly ever, one single answer to a
problem: and when we realise this, we realise that there are several sound
answers. This being so, one of the very best things we can do nowadays is to
make our organisation fit local conditions. This is a philosophy that makes
for the regionalisaton and decentralisation we champion in programming and
De la Mata promoted the World Youth Congress in Calgary (Canada), the
European Youth Congress in Moscow (1984) and the World Red Cross and Red
Crescent Peace Conference the same year.
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