Spain is gradually recovering normality after passing the worst of the pandemic and, as a consequence, the military parade of October 12 has also done so on Tuesday . Although in lesser quantity than the last normal, that of 2019, more than 2,600 soldiers from the three armies, civil guards and national policemen have marched through the Paseo de la Castellana before the gaze of the Royal Family, the Government and other authorities dressed in mask and maintaining a safety distance, in recognition of the work of the Armed Forces in a year in which, like 2020, there have been crises.
Along with the Covid, the storm Filomena at the beginning of the year, the firesof the summer and, to close 2021 the eruption of the volcano on La Palma have required the intervention of the military, civilian hideouts and police.
Unlike the reduced event last year in the Plaza de Armas of the Royal Palace, this year on October 12 the military parade has been recovered, with the slogan “Service and commitment” in recognition of this work during a year in which it has also The role of the Army in the evacuation of citizens of Afghanistan has been highlighted .
As a reminder, planes involved in that operation have participated in the air parade, hours after a new contingent of people arrived last night from Kabul and hours before another flight completes the group of 200 people who, after the frantic operation last August , the Government has planned to remove now from the country.
The princess of Asturias has been the great absentee from the parade, precisely because of anti-Covid measures that have practically disappeared in Spain. Infanta Leonor studies in Wales and, had she come to Madrid this Tuesday, she would have had to observe five days of quarantine and miss classes, so the trip was ruled out.
Although reduced, the celebration of the National Holiday has been regaining normality this year, with a parade in which 2,656 troops have participated , has had 115 vehicles and 68 planes , which have crossed the sunny sky of the capital, from which a paratrooper has landed carrying the flag of Spain, in one of the most striking moments of the parade, this year without any setback .
In an hour and a half the armies of Land, Sea and Air, the Civil Guard and the National Police have been able to exhibit all the vehicles with which they serve , aircraft such as Eurofighters, fighters, helicopters or fire extinguishers and their troops have paraded through the Paseo de la Castellana, from the legion and the regulars to the Military Emergency Unit, the Royal Guard or the mountain troops. On this occasion, the parade did not include military representatives from the countries where Spain has military deployed or from Latin American countries, who have been invited on other occasions.
The tribute to the flag has been one of the first acts of the parade, where one more year the President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez , has received boos and whistles on his arrival and also when he has left the Paseo de la Castellana. He has received cries of ” out, out”, “resignation”, “squatter” or “parasite” even at times when he was accompanied by the king, such as when he greeted members of the Government, among whom only the Minister of Industry, Tourism and Commerce, Reyes Maroto.
The applause was for the arrival of the kings and the Infanta Sofía and also for the president of the Community of Madrid, Isabel Díaz Ayuso , host of the parade together with the mayor of the capital, José Luis Martínez Almeida. While waiting for the arrival of the Royal Family, both have chatted animatedly with the Minister of Defense, Margarita Robles, and the heads of the three armies.
Nor have great tensions been perceived in the conversations between ministers and regional presidents, like them, the president of the PP, Pablo Casado, of Vox, Santiago Abascal and the leader of Citizens Inés Arrimadas, have also had a place in the ranks of authorities, where they have chosen to withdraw in conversations with their respective comrades in the ranks.
They have also been there, as every year, the presidents of the Congress and the Senate, Meritxell Batet and Ander Gil, the presidents of the Constitutional Court and the Supreme Court, Juan José Rivas and Carlos Lesmes, who have been seen talking with the minister of Justice, Pilar Llop,at a time when the Government seems to have parked legal reforms to give prosecutors more power in the instruction or modify the crime of sedition and with the renewal of these two courts in the air.
Black legend and the Pope
As usual, the Day of the National Holiday arrives every year surrounded by a political news that does not stop. For example, the Government will take its Budget proposal to Congress this Wednesday without still having a majority to approve them.
However, the debate of the day, on Hispanidad or on what should be held on October 12, had already taken place from the first hour in the morning on social media. There, Casado and the second vice president, Yolanda Díaz , have disagreed on what sense to give the day, picking up the controversy that Díaz Ayuso sowed days ago in New York, lamenting that the Pope asked forgiveness for the “sins” of the Catholic Churches in Mexico.
“We proudly celebrate the National Holiday and Hispanic Day, especially this year in the face of the false black legend against the History of Spain , which has been fundamental for humanity,” wrote Casado on a tweet.
Shortly after, the second vice president aligned with Pope Francis by pointing out that October 12 is “a day to reflect on our shared past and work to reconcile as @Pontifex said”
Out of controversy, Sánchez has opted to claim on October 12 “what unites us, what makes us great as a society, what makes Spain a welcoming, open, diverse country”, with “solidarity, cooperation, multilateralism”
Four absent presidents and a volcano
In addition to the Government and as usual, the majority of regional presidents have attended the parade , with the exception of those of the Basque Country and Catalonia , Íñigo Urkullu and Pere Aragonés , who never participate in the National Festival.
On this occasion, the president of Galicia, Alberto Núñez Feijóo , and the president of Castilla-La Mancha, Emiliano García Page , have not been in Madrid either . The first wanted to prepare the Debate on the State of Autonomy that begins this Wednesday in the Galician Parliament while the second is in Brussels in an important vote on products of designation of origin. Among those present, it has been the Canarian president, Ángel Víctor Torres, has attracted special attention among regional leaders, due to the situation La Palma is going through weeks after the Peña Vieja volcano erupted.
The presidents of Congress and the Senate, Meritxell Batet and Ander Gil, the presidents of the Constitutional Court and the Supreme Court, Juan José Rivas and Carlos Lesmes, have shared a platform of authorities with the president of the PP, Pablo Casado, or that of Vox, Santiago Abascal.
After the military parade, the authorities have gone to the Royal Palace, where this year a reception will be held again , although much less numerous than usual. In front of the more than a thousand guests that there are usually other years, the list for this Tuesday has been reduced to 200 people , who will complete the kings with the indication to wear the mask at all times. As a precautionary measure, there has been no subsequent cocktail party. Nor will there be the typical “huddles” this year, informal conversations between authorities and journalists who this year have not been invited to the reception.