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Cadena SER interview with Bill Gates

23/02/2012

The founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates, has spoken through the microphones of PRISA Radio’s network in Spain, Cadena SER, while passing by Madrid, a few hours before leaving for Rome, where he will participate in a meeting with UN agencies.

One of the reasons Gates stayed in Spain was the meeting he had with the Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, where his main priority was to avoid deep cuts in aid in Spain. "I was able to share with him what I saw: How health care spending for vaccines and aid to poor farmers have made big differences," explained Bill Gates. "Clearly, Spain has a very tight budget and will have to choose, but I hope that the percentage of the budget for this aid will not be cut much. Ideally, not cut at all, but that's a political decision."

With the crisis as the main obstacle to government aid, the founder of Microsoft has shown, however, his understanding of the cuts in this area by a country "that has been very generous in helping its people in the past eight years."Despite that "overall, the money for aid is a small part of the budget, less than 1% in most countries," Bill Gates highlighted that the "the value of that money could save lives.” He continued by saying, “The general opinion is that this expenditure is justified only if it can have a considerable impact, for example, buying life-saving vaccines for children, buying mosquito nets to prevent malaria deaths or providing seeds for farmers to feed their children. The basic needs of humanity, if you meet those, will lead these countries to end up having less population growth and be put in a path of self-sufficiency.” Thus, this is why Bill Gates has mentioned it is a priority to "hold the percentage" that these developed countries have intended towards aid or at least, "to be restored as soon as possible."

Indeed, the fight against disease and hunger are among the priorities of his foundation, with an investment that doubles that of organizations such as WHO or FAO. Despite this fact, Bill Gates has described European aid as "impressive". Gates further states that "almost half of global aid comes from European countries. Do not ignore the significant impact of its assistance and the number of children whose lives have been saved by investing in things like vaccines, something that most European countries, including Spain, have been very generous about."

This is why the founder of Microsoft has entered the European commitment, "over time, providing 0.7% of its economy with assistance. Some already have, such as Norway, Denmark or Sweden. Others, like Britain, will do next year, and as the economy recovers, I hope that all countries can reach that figure. That would mark the difference.”

The economic reality in Spain

Bill Gates has also spoken about the current economic situation in Spain, something that he has come to realize in his meetings with Dr. Pedro Alonso, where he highlighted "his work on the new malaria vaccine, with the help of the Spanish government”, Eduard Punset, Ferran Adrià and Sandro Rosell. The founder of Microsoft has stressed that "there's big businesses that are doing a great job. I'm no expert on this but I think the crisis is an opportunity for people to make changes that help the country for the long-term.”

The problem of climate change

On climate change, the founder of Microsoft has warned that "it is a serious problem whose impact will be stronger in forty or sixty years." That is why he insisted on the need to "seek ways to make energy cheaper, without emitting CO2. Much of the money that has been spent to implement expensive technology, so far, has not gotten much of a desired effect. Therefore, research is one of the most influential things right now. It's time to reduce emissions right now."

Conscious of his influence in the world, Bill Gates has confessed that "I do not need to be remembered. What worries me is the number of children who die each year and suffer terrible diseases such as AIDS or tuberculosis. The aim is to reduce these figures. I love to see that we are progressing, working together and supporting the best scientists. That's where we stand and where we have to do well. I just try to do my part by returning all the wealth I've been lucky enough to get through the success of Microsoft. "

About PRISA - A Global Group:

PRISA is the world’s leading Spanish and Portuguese-language media group in the fields of education, information and entertainment, thanks to its multi-channel offer of high-quality products. Present in 22 countries, it reaches more than 50 million users through its global brands El País, 40 Principales, Santillana and Alfaguara.

PRISA Radio, the radio division of PRISA Group, is the leader in Spanish broadcast radio worldwide and is centered on informative activities, music, entertainment and sports.  PRISA Radio operates over 1,200 radio stations in 10 countries (Mexico, Colombia, Argentina, Chile, Costa Rica, Panama, Ecuador, Guatemala, Spain and USA) and has over 27 million people tune into programs every day and more than 7 million unique users on the Internet. Some of the most recognized radio brands are Caracol Radio, W Radio, Cadena SER, ADN Radio Chile, Radio Continental, Caracol 1260, Radio Panama and ADN FM Costa Rica.  

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