August 5, 2020

Agreements and good intentions for bulls to remain on the dead end | Blog The bull, by the horns


What excites a politician the signing of an agreement …! And two, double. They meet at a cocktail party, cross four words and, without a doubt, one of them comes up with the great idea: why don’t we sign a protocol?

Both know that the paper supports everything and nothing compromises the signature under words as sonorous as hollow. And they don’t do it with bad intention. But, above all, they are subjugated to star in a public act, with journalists and photographers, and a subsequent gap in the slight posterity of the fleeting presence in the media.

It does not matter, even, that the Administrations that they represent stamped a commitment on the same matter; it is very likely that they do not know it. After all, memory is skinny for everyone. The most serious thing is that reality shows that the agreement, the protocol, the alliance, or whatever you want to call the role, is of little use.

On July 17, the president of the Community of Madrid, Isabel Díaz Ayuso, and the mayor of the capital, José Luis Martínez-Almeida, signed an agreement for the defense and promotion of the bullfighting festival.

Apparently, nobody wants to accept that Madrid and Seville are the world reference for bullfighting

The first said that “bullfighting is a demonstration of freedom, an unequivocal proof that a society is free and mature, and that it does not admit moral or political guardianships”; and the mayor added that Madrid institutions are once again committing themselves to the conservation and defense of one of the facets of the best Spanish culture. “Given the concerns, misgivings and doubts of some, I only have to say that we live in a free society from which we cannot exclude this hallmark that is bullfighting,” he stressed.

It is true that the aforementioned agreement includes the return of the Bullfighting School of Madrid to the facilities of the Venta del Batán, and that the Madrid City Council has an institutional presence in the Plaza de Las Ventas. But up to there you can read it. The rest are nothing more than good intentions.

In addition, the agreement is unnecessary: ​​the Madrid government approved on April 7, 2011 a decree by which the bullfighting festival was declared a Site of Cultural Interest, in the category of Cultural Fact, and, therefore, as “intangible heritage of the Community of Madrid ”.

So, there are plenty of declarations of love for the bulls.

Sevillian subscription poster for the closed 2020 season.
Sevillian subscription poster for the closed 2020 season. Europa Press

And these lines are not understood as an acid criticism of these Popular Party politicians. No. These are the friends of bullfighting …! And sure, sure, that a good purpose guides them, and not like others who dream of the eradication of bulls from the face of the earth.

The example is only valid to conclude the state of loneliness suffered by bullfighting.

The Community of Madrid is the owner of the Plaza de Las Ventas, and the main responsible, together with Plaza1, the winning company, that its doors are hermetically closed, despite the fact that bullfighting festivals can already be held with 75% of the capacity. Everything suggests, in addition, that there will be no paseíllo in 2020, and this was corroborated last Tuesday by the plaza itself when announcing the extension of the suspension of the festivities “until the necessary sanitary conditions exist that fully guarantee the safety of the spectators “

But is it that no one wants to understand that Madrid is the world reference for bullfighting and it is essential that bugles and timpani sound to announce that the party is still alive and carry a message of hope in times of such growing tribulation?

There is life beyond economic benefit: the survival of bullfighting

What is the problem? Economic perhaps? (If the plaza opens one afternoon, will Plaza1 pay the annual fee of 2,800,000 euros?) Political? (Does Díaz Ayuso fear an opposition offensive without quarter if there is a possible outbreak of the virus in the square?)

Be that as it may, it appears that the Las Ventas bolt will breed rust before coming back to life.

By the way, the Madrid president said at the signing of the aforementioned agreement that “turning your back on the first place in the world is of great political blindness.” In the absence of greater transparency, it is legitimate to think that Díaz Ayuso has soon forgotten his principles. Or do you have others …

One more detail: the Madrid City Council approved last day a direct aid of 4.4 million euros to support the cultural fabric of the city that has been affected by covid-19. These grants are in addition to the two million euros allocated by the Community for the same purpose. And in no case is bullfighting cited as an affected sector.

This case is repeated in other cities bullfighting. In Seville, for example.

The City Council of the Andalusian capital declared bullfighting in 2004 as “the city’s biggest festival”. Since then, the mayor and councilors have changed, but not the attitude: darling, yes; but bread, little.

A few days ago, Seville set aside the amount of 650,000 euros for the cultural sector, and neither does the bullfighting festival appear among the benefited sectors.

And the company Pagés itself, which runs the Plaza de La Maestranza, has seriously erred in publishing a good-luck and unfortunate message on Twitter that, unsurprisingly, has turned against it.

“Every Thursday of this month of July,” he said, “we have remembered our beloved promotion bullfights, a cycle in which we support the future of bullfighting. The pandemic has deprived us of them #VolveremosAlaMaestranza

And criticism has rained rightly. There have been many fans who have censured the decision of the company, incomprehensible by all accounts. Why haven’t these festivities been held?

Another lighthouse, in the one in the Seville square, which remains off; by the way, with the approval of the owner, the Real Maestranza de Caballería, which keeps, like others, an unforgivable silence.

Madrid and Seville, Las Ventas and La Maestranza, the two most significant bullrings in the world … And both are closed with the approval (or the complicit silence) of the professionals, the politicians bullfighting, the two autonomous governments and the two municipalities.

And don’t forget: Isabel Díaz Ayuso, José Luis Martínez-Almeida, Juanma Moreno, (Andalusian president) and Juan Espada (Seville mayor) are the friends.

But everyone seems to forget that there is life beyond the economic benefit: the survival of bullfighting. And if it is an insurmountable sanitary problem, why is it allowed to hold bullfighting shows with a certain capacity?

This matter smells singe …

Does bullfighting have reasons or not to feel sadly desolate?

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