Five deputies from different parties with representation in Congress —PSOE, PP, United We Can, Ciudadanos and Bildu— have participated in a joint video in which they bet on “coexistence” and wish for a 2021 “free of tension.” The video, which mixes images of the pandemic and the Congress of Deputies, has been published by United We Can Deputy Roberto Uriarte on his Twitter profile to congratulate the new year. “There is nothing as beautiful as knowing how to live together and cooperate between people who think differently,” claim the parliamentarians.
It is the first initiative of a group that is being created in the Chamber emulating the so-called ‘Crocodile Club’, an informal meeting of members of the European Parliament from different parties created in the eighties by the MEP Altiero Spinelli, one of the parents founders of the European Union, with the aim of advancing community integration and federalism. The group got that name because that’s what the Strasbourg restaurant was called –Au Crocodile– where they used to meet.
Uriarte, who is a professor of Constitutional Law at the University of the Basque Country, is trying to do something similar in Spain. As told The world, the idea came up more than a year ago at a conference on Europe given by Javier Solana —minister of the first socialist government and high-ranking president in NATO and the EU— at the Carlos de Amberes Foundation, chaired by journalist Miguel Ángel Aguilar. Then, speaking of political tension, someone remembered Spinelli and Uriarte thought of creating something similar.
In the group, which has met twice in the Congress cafeteria, there is for now a representative of each party with its own group except the PNV. In addition to Uriarte himself, it is made up of María Guijarro (PSOE), Fernando Gutiérrez Díaz de Otazu (PP), Inés Cañizares (Vox), Joan Capdevila (ERC), Sara Giménez (Citizens) and Jon Iñarritu (EH Bildu).
Several of these deputies participate in the video, which begins with Uriarte’s voice-over stating that the “tension” seen in this “tough” 2020 “is only part of the truth.” “It is easier to capture the attention of the cameras by overreacting and using thick words. Today a group of deputies want to tell you another part of the truth that is still less known, and that is that in the commissions, in the presentations, many are taken decisions without the need to vote, by assent, others are approved by very large majorities, and even many times unanimously, “he added later.
Next, four other deputies appear, making their own reflections or quoting phrases from famous people. The socialist Guijarro quotes Jhon F. Kennedy – “If we cannot put an end to our differences, let us contribute to making the world a suitable place for them” -, the popular Gutiérrez to the philosopher Julián Marías – “There is no single perspective of the reality, the perspective, if it is real, demands multiplicity “- and Giménez, from Ciudadanos, to the writer and activist Helen Keller -” The greatest result in education is tolerance “-. Iñarritu, for his part, assures that, Despite the over-acting and dramatization in plenary sessions and in commissions, “the gruff tone is not common.” Uriarte closes the video by paraphrasing Voltaire, to whom this reflection “is usually attributed”: “I do not share your opinion but I would be willing to give my life to defend your right to express it. ”