Opinion

They live!

Columbus Day

After more than 48 hours under medical observation, the ministers of Unidas Podemos who form part of the government presided over by Pedro Sánchez are now out of danger. The doctors have saved their lives after titanic efforts to wrest their pure souls from the scythe of the Grim Reaper.

The tremendous overexcitement to which the ministers of the ultra-left coalition were subjected on the morning of 12 October was beyond imagination, to the point that the usual medical team feared the worst on such an important date: Spain's National Day, the 529th Anniversary of the Discovery of America and the Feast of the Virgen del Pilar, patron saint of the Guardia Civil - too much for the body!

In addition to the events mentioned above, we must add the moment of special emotion when King Felipe VI - dressed in the uniform of Captain General of the Spanish Army - gave a military salute on the Paseo de la Castellana in Madrid to all the high authorities present. The accumulation of exciting circumstances reached such an extreme that it almost curtailed the United Podemos ministers' passage on Earth and ended up with them sitting on their buttocks on the soft seats of their offices.

Día de la Hispanidad
PHOTO/MOD - The Minister for Consumer Affairs, Alberto Garzón, wanted to show his enormous respect for what the Spanish National Day represents and seems to be looking for a handkerchief to wipe away his tears of emotion.

But there is more. Nothing less than the sight, at very close range, of the glittering Golden Fleece worn by Felipe VI, the greeting of Queen Leticia and that of the Infanta Sofía. All this provoked such unbridled excitement that the Second Vice-President and Minister for Employment, Yolanda Díaz, and the ministers Alberto Garzón (Consumer Affairs), Ione Belarra (Social Rights) and Irene Montero (Equality) had to make strenuous efforts not to fall backwards and give themselves a serious spinal injury.

It seems that Minister Alberto Garzón was so taken by King Felipe VI's martial greeting that he was on the point of effusively embracing the monarch. But he restrained himself. The one who was paralysed by the flashes of the Golden Fleece was the Minister of Justice, the Socialist Pilar Llop, who, after receiving the royal salute, remained motionless, like Don Tancredo. It gave the mistaken impression of being a snub, when in reality it was no more than a kind of momentary daze to stand. 

El rey Felipe VI a su llegada a la parada militar del 12 de octubre. El presidente Pedro Sánchez en la modalidad de “firmes espatarrao”: piernas abiertas y ligeramente arqueadas, pies en paralelo y brazos alicaídos a lo largo del cuerpo
PHOTO/MOD-Marco Romero - King Felipe VI on his arrival at the military parade on 12 October. President Pedro Sánchez in the "firmes espatarrao" style: legs open and slightly bowed, feet parallel and arms stretched out along the body.
Excessive excitement at the passing of the Legion

After the official greetings and together with the other members of the Executive, the ministers rushed to the two ministerial tribunes set up on either side of the royal box. One group was headed by President Pedro Sánchez and the other by the First Vice-President and Minister of Economic Affairs, Nadia Calviño. Sitting down, now calm, breathing in the fresh air, they prepared to watch the military ceremony that was to follow with emotion in the air.

The first stirring of their hearts was to watch in admiration as an Air Force paratrooper carrying a large Spanish flag landed in front of their noses. It seems that the ministers sitting next to the President of the Government cheered and shouted "oootra, oootra, oootra! Those in Nadia Calviño's group were tempted to shout the same, but a look from the vice-president made them desist.

The culminating moments of their over-excitement came when they saw an endless stream of Spanish flags parading a few metres away, the martial step of more than two thousand soldiers from the land, sea, air and civil guards, with rifles on their shoulders and bayonets drawn... the kind that prick. And the legionnaires of the former Tercio de Extranjeros, with their goat and all. And the company captains exclaiming Viva España! as they pass before the King. And the whole Unit responded in unison with a deafening Viva! They were amazed.

De izquierda a derecha, los ministros Grande-Marlaska (Interior), Escrivá (Seguridad Social), Robles (Defensa), Montero (Igualdad) y Albares (Exteriores) instantes antes de aplaudir al paso de las unidades militares a pie
PHOTO/MOD-Marco Romero - From left to right, Ministers Grande-Marlaska (Interior), Escrivá (Social Security), Robles (Defence), Montero (Equality) and Albares (Foreign Affairs) moments before applauding as the military units passed by on foot.

One minister was about to throw a bouquet of carnations, but her companions stopped her. "Don't do it, the goat will eat them and you'll look bad in front of Peter," they shouted. Earlier they saw planes and helicopters fly overhead. And on the ground, a small number of vehicles passed by with cannons and machine guns, the kind that fire shells that hurt. "How cool! We should ask Margarita to give us a plane and a tank for each ministry". "Shut up, they pollute and we're supposed to be against them.

On the sound level, they listened with the utmost attention and even with tears in their eyes to the national anthem during the hoisting of the flag, the stanzas of the song "Death is not the end" and the touch of prayer. To avoid scares and fainting, the "Eagle" acrobatic squadron of the Air Force flew over their heads at the precise moment when there was a volley of rifles in honour of the fallen of all times for Spain. 

It is said that in the two stands reserved for the government, the voices of "I wanted to be a soldier, but they failed me in the tests. Don't tell anyone, I'll risk it". Another: "Well, I had a naval suitor, but I preferred an anti-fascist intellectual". One minister whispered something along the lines of "I'm looking forward to parading in the goose-step". But there is no guarantee that any of the above is true. Fortunately, the live Spanish television broadcast did not show a single shot of the governmental tribunes, which prevented viewers from being able to perceive the ministers' gushing satisfaction, in some cases barely contained.

El paso de la Legión arrancó los mayores aplausos y vítores del público que presenciaba el desfile en directo. También de los ministros, en especial de Unidas Podemos, fervientes admiradores del Tercio de Extranjeros
PHOTO/MOD-Marco Romero - The passing of the Legion drew the loudest applause and cheers from the public watching the parade live. Also from the ministers, especially from Unidas Podemos, fervent admirers of the Tercio de Extranjeros.
Las corsarias is a feminist pasodoble

I am assured that the Second Vice-President, Yolanda Díaz, almost burst into tears at the sound of the song "Banderita". It seems that she even hummed "banderita tu eres roja, banderita tu eres gualda...", a piece of music from the comic-lyrical play "Las corsarias", which dates from 1919 and tells the story of a pirate ship crewed only by women. "Don't believe it Yoli, they whispered in her ear. In reality it is a feminist pasodoble whose real verse is "feminista tu eres roja, feminista tu eres malva...". 

The Minister for Universities, Manuel Castells, was not present at the military parade. Apparently, he did not consider his presence opportune in view of his very high intellectual stature, light years away from the rest of the humans present there. But there are differences of opinion. Some say he got angry and that was the reason for his absence.

El Felipe VI saludó uno a uno a todos los  altos cargos de la nación. De rojo, la secretaría de Estado directora del Centro Nacional de Inteligencia, Paz Esteban, y la secretaria de Estado de Defensa, Esperanza Casteleiro
PHOTO/MOD-Marco Romero - Felipe VI greeted all the nation's top officials one by one. In red, the Secretary of State and Director of the National Intelligence Centre, Paz Esteban, and the Secretary of State for Defence, Esperanza Casteleiro.

He wanted to dress as a legionnaire, to wear the first button of his shirt unbuttoned to show that he is a man with hair on his chest and to parade with a volume of the Enciclopedia Universal Ilustrada Espasa-Calpe over his shoulder. But he was advised against it. "Manolo, you're not up to it, and at 79 years of age you're not up to it". But it's just that...! It's not that or anything, you're not old enough, that's all! So I'm not going, come on!". Is it true or is it a fallacy?

One final detail. President Pedro Sánchez has been at the helm of the government for more than three years and has invented a new form of the position of firmness. It differs from the one that prevails in the military all over the world and is taught in gym and physical education classes in public, state-subsidised and public schools all over Spain. It is the one that dates back to Roman times and is practised even by children.

El ministro de Universidades, Manuel Castells no asistió al desfile del 12 de octubre. Al parecer, se enfadó porque quería vestir de legionario y desfilar con un tomo de la Enciclopedia Ilustrada Espasa-Calpe sobre el hombro
PHOTO/EFE - Universities minister Manuel Castells did not attend the 12 October parade. Apparently, he got angry because he wanted to dress as a legionnaire and parade with a volume of the Enciclopedia Ilustrada Espasa-Calpe over his shoulder.

It consists of keeping the legs open - so that it can be clearly seen that they are open - and slightly arched, with the feet parallel and the arms stretched out along the body. Although the Presidency of the Government neither confirms nor denies it, the new modality seems to be in the process of obtaining official registration from the Spanish Patent and Trademark Office under the name of "firmes espatarrao".