Sun. Dec 8th, 2019

Jesús Hijosa, mayor of Villaseca, a commitment to the bulls | Blog The bull, by the horns



“The bullfights – the base of bullfighting – are the big problem of the current bullfighting. They cost an average of 45,000 euros, and there is no town hall or businessman to support that expense. They are in serious danger because they are ruinous and unfeasible. The only solution is for us to sit down all the affected sectors and look for solutions; on the contrary…"

Jesús Hijosa (Villaseca de la Sagra, Toledo, 1962) has been mayor of his town for 23 years, fond of bulls with deep family roots, and president of the Forum for the Promotion, Defense and Debate of the Novilladas, born in January 2018 and integrated by 21 municipalities, which has just been awarded the National Bullfighting Prize by the Ministry of Culture.

“… Otherwise,” continues Hijosa, “we will not be able to transmit to future generations this unique art in the world, which we must defend so that it continues forever.”

"The recognition of Culture is a push for all the peoples that fight for the survival of the bullfights," he says. "From now on, we will be more combative if possible to win the great battle for which the forum arose, which is none other than the viability of what we consider the basis of bullfighting."

“A celebration with choppers doesn't cost less than 45,000 euros today; a ruin ”

Jesús Hijosa is a unique character; mayor of a town that does not reach 2,000 inhabitants, a municipal manager above the acronym of the PP, the party he represents, a man who reflects honesty and seriousness in his face, turned into a prophet illuminated by his firm commitment to the bullfighting.

In his hand, Villaseca has been organizing for 20 years one of the most prestigious bullfight cycles, Alfarero de Oro, composed of five festivities with picks, which the leading bullfighters come to deal with demanding iron steers, and Silver Potter for celebrations without choppers, which has already completed the sixth edition. In Villaseca, current figures such as Roca Rey, Ginés Marín, López Simón or Álvaro Lorenzo triumphed.

And the City Council has lived in its coffers the inviability of the bullfights.

"A celebration with choppers does not cost less than 45,000 euros today, if it is organized in accordance with the law and the minimums established in the agreements are paid," says Hijosa. “If we manage to fill my town's square (2,000 locations) at 15 euros per person – if the ticket price is more expensive, the ticket office suffers – the billing is 30,000 euros, which results in the paradox that with the 'no tickets' sign is lost 15,000 euros, ”he concludes.

Expenses of a bullfight with choppers

The mayor of Villaseca de la Sagra values ​​the cost of a celebration with choppers at 45,000 euros. Some time ago, when the different items were a bit lower, the town hall itself presented the following list of expenses for a bullfight with a total budget of 40,958 euros.

Novillero and gang (4,550 euros for 3): 13,650 euros

Social Security (1,679.43 euros for 3 crews): 5,038, 29 euros, which are distributed as follows:

Novillero (181, 36 euros for 3) …………………… ..544.08 euros…

Choppers (256, 96 euros for 6) ………………… ..1,541.76 euros

Banderilleros (256, 96 euros for 6) ……………… 1,541.76 euros

Banderilleros -the third- (228, 56 euros for 3) …… .685.68 euros

Swordsmen (165, 19 euros for 3) …………… 495.57 euros

Aid (76, 48 euros for 3) ………………………… 229.44 euros

Mayral expenses ……………………………… …… 600 euros

Goalkeepers ………………………………………… ……… 270 euros

Suspension insurance ……………………………… ….. 400 euros

Civil Liability Insurance …………… …….. 100 euros

Oxen stop ……………………………… ……… 500 euros

Veterinarians …………………………………… …….. 1,200 euros approx.

Doctors ……………………………………… ……….. 1,000 euros

Signage ……………………………………… ……… 1,000 euros approx.

Portable bullring rental ……………… …… 3,000 euros

Chopping block ………………………………… .. 800 euros

Mulillas ………………………………………… ……… 200 euros

Transport ……………………………………… ……. 600 euros

Operating room ………………………………… .. …… …… 600 euros

Steers ……………………………………… …… 12,000 euros

TOTAL EXPENSES ………………………… ….. 40,958 euros.

– Do you mean that the residents of your town run the economic losses of the festivities?

– "No. Fortunately, we cover expenses thanks to the collaboration of the Castilla-La Mancha television that broadcasts the festivities. Otherwise, we would have no choice but to reduce the number of shows."

Hijosa proposes that the budget can be reduced by 30 percent, so that the total cost does not exceed 30,000 euros, an amount that, in his opinion, would allow more smaller celebrations to be organized.

“The world of the bull needs a restructuring, as has happened in other sectors”

“The kids today lack opportunities,” he adds, “and go to the top places without the necessary baggage; and there is the paradox that we expect someone to cut an ear to announce it at our fairs, when the logical thing is that it would be the other way around. Today it is very difficult to find novilleros with sufficient preparation. ”

Given this situation, the mayor of Villaseca proposes that the different sectors sit down to negotiate with the idea of ​​giving in their claims and working for the future of the party. To this end, it has held meetings with the Ministry of Culture, Social Security and professional associations, although, so far, there are no outstanding advances. Hijosa points out that political instability has had a negative impact and hopes that with the new government it will be possible to establish new bases for the sector.

The mayor also intends that there is only one bullfighting regulation for the entire country (currently, the Autonomous Communities of Navarra, Basque Country, Aragon, Andalusia and Castilla-León have their own regulations) that suits the reality of the century XXI.

"And we should study the reduction in the number of professionals or the economic benefits they receive in certain celebrations," he continues. "Are three choppers, nine banderilleros and three swordsmen necessary for a bullfight in a third or fourth category square?" He asks. And he adds that it is not intended to harm the interests of professionals, but to invite different sectors to dialogue to find solutions.

“But Culture has already indicated that any regulatory modification must have the consensus of all parties. If not, the change will be very difficult, because the central idea is not to harm anyone ”

– But is there a good disposition among the professional sectors?

– "Well, I think so. They must understand that those who live from the festivities are they; if more bullfights are held, there will be more jobs. In addition, if it turns out that it is impossible to pay the minimums, a restructuring of the bullfighting business will have to be faced, as is done in other productive sectors. We must all adapt to the economic situation suffered by bullfights. ”

(Despite the hopeful attitude of the mayor, it does not seem that reality favors his wishes. Last Thursday, in the program 'El Kikiriki', by Toros TV, the secretary of the National Union of Picadores and Banderilleros of Spain (UNPBE) , David Prados, showed an extreme corporatism, refused taxatively to a professional restructuring of the sector, urged businessmen to increase revenues and seek sponsors, considered that he attended the public because the posters are not attractive, denounced that small towns such as Villaseca organize celebrations with picadores that, in their opinion, do not correspond to them due to their small population, and rejected any self-criticism of the sector they represent).

Despite this, on the 20th day, at the College of Veterinarians in Madrid, a meeting will be held to which all the parties involved are invited, and another one on the 26th, at the Ministry of Culture, in order to bring positions ; if possible…

"We must try so that the party has a future," concludes the committed mayor of Villaseca de la Sagra.

On the contrary…

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