Íñigo Ramírez de Haro: "Esperanza Aguirre joined a social group that despised her"

Íñigo Ramírez de Haro:

Atheist, anticlerical and anti nobility. He is also a playwright, but makes a living as a diplomat. Íñigo Ramírez de Haro, 67 years old, studied at the Jesuits, who declared him “subnormal” and abused him. He studied aeronautical engineering and since he was 14 years old he tries to break with the hypocrisy of the social class to which he belongs. His brother Fernando is the current Count of Bornos, husband of Esperanza Aguirre, and until a few years ago they had a very close relationship that was broken when the eldest son decided to keep the more than five million euros for which sold a portrait painted by Goya to the builder Juan Miguel Villar Mir.

The count broke his word and the document he signed with his other five brothers, specifying that the property would be distributed among all of them upon the death of their mother. When he passed away in 2019, the cake was discovered: the painting had already been sold, collected and the debts paid. Until the day of his sale, Valentín Bellvis de Moncada y Pizarro had hung the OHL tycoon over the chimney of the house of the parents of Íñigo and Fernando, the palace of Jesús del Valle. In the sober mansion located in the center of the capital, the family's coat of arms goes unnoticed by the nest of security cameras that monitor the current residence of the former president of the Community of Madrid, the undisputed protagonist of Bad Blood ( Ediciones B), the book just published by Íñigo Ramírez de Haro. A wonderful Falcon Crest Reed.

The cover of the book is the painting in dispute, which the Community of Madrid has yet to declare BIC and which Villar Mir has handed over to Banco Santander to settle debts... Can a painting become a ghost?

Well, the painting had been on the fireplace of my parents' house all my life. In 2012 I lived in New York and I came to Madrid to have lunch with my brother, when we still had a very close relationship. At one point, Esperanza Aguirre began to cry, saying that Fernando has gone bankrupt, that he owes six million euros and is going to go to jail if he doesn't pay, and that they don't have the money to pay. So my wife says we sell the Goya painting over the fireplace. Esperanza doubted that she was a Goya and my wife said the historical phrase: “This is a Goya like the top of a pine”. So Esperanza called the Prado Museum to show it to him and in two weeks he had turned into a very good Goya.

Does that food change everything?

My brother promised that when our mother died he would share it with the other five brothers. But my mother dies in 2019, I tell her to distribute and at that moment she refuses and says that she is not going to distribute anything. That is where the double process begins: on the one hand, investigating what is happening and, on the other, the pain that your beloved brother becomes a wordless man.

Why did it hurt so much?

Because that of the aristocracy is supposed to be a world that is governed by blood, by word and by exemplarity. But we started to investigate and discovered that he had already started the operation to change my father's will to keep everything.

Do you blame your brother or the influence of Esperanza Aguirre?

It is my brother who does it but he declares himself in depression. Therefore, she organizes the entire sale of the painting. There is an email published by elDiario.es where Esperanza tells me that she is not in charge of anything, that they are going to do everything. Her responsibility is clear, but my brother is responsible for what has happened even though he is influenced by his wife.

Do you think that Esperanza Aguirre's resignation from the presidency of the Community of Madrid has anything to do with the Goya scandal and the demolition of the Canalejas complex?

I do not know. But I do know that in 2012 Sotheby's recognizes the painting as the work of Goya, that they call the Prado Museum to confirm it and that it is valued at a price of eight million euros. And Juan Miguel Villar Mir buys it for five-odd. It is rare that such a drop is accepted and it is likely that the price was lowered because my brother's title deed is false. It's based on a donation that never existed.

Do you really think that Villar Mir was interested in that painting?

Yes, because he is making a collection of Spanish art.

Are you a collector or an investor?

They are very close. Many collectors are investors.

And wasn't the set of six historic buildings in Canalejas what Villar Mir really wanted?

Of course the operation Canalejas occurs at the same time as the sale of the Goya. Villar Mir needed Esperanza Aguirre to remove the BIC declaration that protected that heritage. And what Esperanza does is remove the protection of the Canalejas group. The signs smell a lot. All the signs point to a corrupt construction of clientelism and the Spanish tradition of oligarchy and chiefdom, as Joaquín Costa said.

You see all those signs, but the judge has closed the case without waiting for your challenge to be resolved.

The judge did not take into account any of the proceedings or the evidence of misappropriation committed by my brother. Neither the indication of fiscal fraud, nor the indication of fraud to the national historical heritage, nor the indication that the executive power of the Community of Madrid has a direct hand over the judiciary. This case questions democracy, because it questions the balance of powers. I don't even want to think that the separation of powers might not exist in the Community of Madrid.

Have they appealed the sentence?

Yes, in the Provincial Court of Madrid.

What is 'Bad blood' then, a revenge?

No, I started this book five years ago and I still had a very good relationship with my brother. It is an introspection of my life and my family. Esperanza Aguirre appears in the book because she is the consort of the Count of Bornos. It is the story of a lineage that belongs to a social class that has had a historical influence, values ​​and myths.

Is aristocracy bad blood?

The aristocracy is governed by blood and in the book I review that social class. I have written from real events, real characters but I have built a fiction. Only fiction tells the truth, says Nabokov. This that goes ahead, I do not do journalism or essay. I do autofiction.

But there is a problem with Esperanza Aguirre, is she a fiction?

What happens in the book is a construction, like my brother's wedding night with her. I wasn't in the room, but I tell it.

What do you think the reader should take into account as fact and as fiction?

That question no longer makes sense. The porosity of literary genres has done away with borders. Asking what is reality and what is fiction is difficult to answer.

But it is that his book has real cultural, economic and political transcendence, which touch personalities like Esperanza Aguirre. There is no doubt that it is a book of denunciation.

Well it is a book about what I consider to be the truth. I am a writer of a narrative. The interesting thing is that you don't tell the reader what he has to think.

And Esperanza Aguirre could sue him for what he has written?

You can actually sue me. Sue, you can. I don't know if anyone is going to read the book, but Esperanza Aguirre's lawyer is going to read it for sure.

Have you been careful about getting into puddles?

I think that in Spain we live in a democracy. The last 30 years have been the best in the history of Spain and are characterized by freedom of expression. According to the law, the limitation of freedom of expression are the right to honor, insults and hatred.

What portrait do you think he has made of her?

It's not insulting or against your honor. That he doesn't like it is something else.

You're not going to like how you remember her when she came to your family.

It is that he comes to a family of high nobility whose basic value is blood, whose first-born son does not want to marry a rich beauty, but a duchess. So, Esperanza enters a social group that despises her and does not consider a good marriage.

And she ends up copying their ways.

She, who is a social complex, what she wants is to become the Countess of Bornos, which is what she is today. It's so funny to see her take my mother as a model to become a countess. She begins to imitate how the high nobility behaves. She is an image of Esperanza Aguirre that no one knows. The supposed Thatcher from Madrid turns out that with my brother she is the perfect example of a woman docile to man.

So what he says about Esperanza in 'Bad Blood' is true?


The presence of Jesús del Valle in the book is impressive and you want to stop being one of them all your life. Is it a child's whim okay?

I am a good child, but nobody chooses where he is born. I turn Jesús del Valle into one more character. He is a symbol of the values ​​of a closed sect. I was going to be a saint, it was the first prize for the catechism of the Jesuits. The abuse of the priests was not only physical abuse, it was also brainwashing. I am a consequence of that. Until I discover an outside world and I leave the sect at the age of 14 and at the university I change completely.

But you can't leave them...

That's the story of this book: no matter how hard you try, you can never get out because you stay in a no man's world. Some say that you are a good boy and others, a black sheep, a class traitor. I produce much more horror to the aristocracy than to someone outside. You never quite come out.

'Bad blood' is a cruel portrait of the aristocracy, but there is also a point of hope.

Yes, I have built good blood with my family. Bad blood is what happens with all those traditional values ​​of the aristocracy, which is a thief who has no word. We knew that we would have to work because my family was ruined in a lawsuit at the beginning of the century. The aristocracy is usufructuary of life: you have some goods that you usufruct and you live without being expected to contribute anything. It is that social layer that lives on the glories of an ancestor and whose daily life is to play golf, hunt and spend the summer.

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