this will be the most atypical National Holiday

this will be the most atypical National Holiday

King Felipe VI, in front of the military participants in the National Holiday Day parade, in Madrid on October 12, 2019.

© Ricardo Rubio / Europa Press
King Felipe VI, in front of the military participants in the National Holiday Day parade, in Madrid on October 12, 2019.

The motto that the Ministry of Defense has chosen this year to celebrate the National Holiday is “The Force that unites us “. It is a tribute to the role of the Army in curbing the pandemic, the key factor that will make this year everything will be different. October 12 is celebrated this Monday in the middle of the second wave of coronavirus and in a Madrid under a new state of alarm, where there won’t be military parade or the traditional reception of the king in the Royal Palace.

Respect the safety distance, avoid crowds and transfers and movements of people will be the order of the day on this October 12, which, on the political level, also has its own circumstances: it is the first National Holiday with United We Can within the Government and is celebrated shortly after government veto to the king in Barcelona and demonstrations of contempt for the monarch by the purple ministers. Also, in full rapprochement of the Government to the independence movement to be able to approve the Budgets.

The pandemic has disrupted everything this year, including the National Holiday. Madrid will be more crowded, since its inhabitants cannot leave the city, but even if they wanted to this year they will not have the opportunity to go to the Paseo de la Castellana to see the armed forces parade. Instead, the kings will preside over a smaller event in the Plaza de la Armería del Palacio Real.

Who does not think to be so cautious is Vox, which has called for Monday concentrations “by car” in different cities, an initiative that this Saturday the Falange seconded. Under the motto “Spain to the street. Against a criminal and totalitarian government ”, the far-right party calls for a new motorized demonstration that cannot be seen worse by the government. This Friday, the Minister of the Interior, Fernando Grande-Marlaska, accused this party of “To patrimonialize the flag, the anthem and now the national holiday”, who recalled that it is for “47 million people.”

The minister made these statements at the press conference after the extraordinary Council of Ministers that this Friday decreed the state of alarm in the Community of Madrid and after having participated in a celebration “absolutely limited” of the day of the Civil Guard, which is also celebrated on October 12.

Everything is limited this time. Monday, the kings, the princess of Asturias and the infanta Leonor will be accompanied by the Prime Minister, Pedro Sanchez, the Minister of Defense, Margaret Robles, and the rest of the Executive member in an act that will consist only of the raising the flag, a tribute to those who gave their lives for Spain, an imposition of decorations and a small land parade.

There will be no soldiers from all over Spain to parade through the Castellana. Only the units located in Madrid. The exception is La Legión, which will have a special role because it celebrates its centenary. In the military parade they will participate 527 troops. Last year, they were close to 3.500 and then the troops from Lebanon, Senegal, Mauritania and Mali paraded in a preferential place.

This year, specifically, there will be a Music Unit and sections of the Royal Guard, the Central Defense Academy, the Regiment “Inmemorial del Rey” No. 1, the Marine Corps Group, the Air Force Honors Squadron, the Reserve and Security Group of the Civil Guard and The Legion. The Military Emergency Unit (UME), which in a pandemic directs the tasks of disinfection and traces of contacts of those diagnosed with coronavirus, closes the list of the military land stoppage. In the air, the Eagle Patrol he will make his traditional pass during the tribute to the fallen.

Precisely, the Royal Palace is traditionally the scene of another of the political and institutional strengths of the celebration of the National Holiday. At the end of the military parade, hundreds of rRepresentatives of politics, economics, culture or communication They compliment the kings before unfolding through the halls of the Palace. Every year has its eagerness and informal conversations usually have a star theme each year. Last year, for example, the judgment of the trial, that was leaked just that day when it was going to be dictated two days later.

With permission from the pandemic, the novelty this year is that it is the First National Holiday since Unidos Podemos is part of the Government. Its four ministers have been summoned like the rest to the military act of the Plaza de Armas and in their ranks they indicate that, if so, they will attend. All the regional presidents. The lehendakari’s absences are already traditional, Íñigo Urkullu, and the president of the Generalitat, who, one more anomaly, is Pere Aragonés replacing Quim Torra, permanently disabled this month by the Supreme Court.

On the other hand, the National Holiday Day comes between efforts by the Government to leave behind its last rudeness to the King and with a clear approach to pro-independence parties in search of a sufficient majority to approve the Budgets.

Al veto to Philip VI in the delivery of dispatches to the new judges in Barcelona two weeks ago and the criticisms by the vice president Pablo Iglesias and the Minister of Consumption, Alberto Garzon, Sánchez tried to show “institutional normality” last Friday, accompanying the king to a ceremony in Barcelona just when the Council of Ministers approved the decree that imposed a new state of alarm in the Community of Madrid. In the coming weeks and months, the The government will negotiate the 2021 accounts with ERC, JxCAT PNV or Bildu, diametrically opposed and alien to the atypical Doce de Octubre under the pandemic.

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