Spain's image abroad is “worse than reality,” as clichés, the good and the bad, have a lot of weight, according to Miguel Angel Cortés, the secretary of state for international co-operation and Ibero-America. Cortés was speaking at an international seminar on “The Image of Spain and Spaniards in the World” which is being held in Valladolid. “Spain has always had a great attraction because of its traditions, culture and quality of life, but never as a centre of the development of science and technology, as invention has always been left to others,” Cortés said. He added that Spain should take great care of its image, as this influences its political identity, foreign relations, culture, economy and society and conditions the attitude which other countries, either European or elsewhere, adopt. Spain is the country which has changed most over the past 20 years, Cortés said, as it has gone from a dictatorship to a democracy which has opened it to the world. “The country's problem is that it is not capable of projecting to the outside world everything that is being done in the country, a projection which should be a priority for Spaniards and above all for the government, for important work in science and technology is being carried out in all the regions, but nobody knows about it,” he said. Spain faces three challenges to obtain these aims, Cortés said: modernity, science and technology and the Spanish language. The seminar is being attended by the Ambassadors of various countries, including the United Kingdom, Portugal, Cuba, France, Brazil, the United States, Mexico, Germany, Israel and Argentina, and the director of the Instituto Cervantes, Jon Juaristi.

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