Three years ago, the PP government announced the closure of the headquarters of the Cervantes Institute (IC) in Gibraltar: "Due to the poor performance of its goals," assured the then vice president, Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría. But what in 2015 could perhaps be measured in this way, in 2018, when Europe is living full exit from the United Kingdom, can give a great political return if it is reopened. This is what Luis García Montero, director of the IC, believes. But he also doubts that the lack of profitability that moved the previous executive was true: "I think it gave good results. In addition, the children and young people of Gibraltar have removed Spanish from their curriculum, so there is a lot of demand, "he added.
Garcia Montero said this Monday at the Madrid headquarters before the celebration of the annual patronage of Cervantes in the palace of Aranjuez, with the presence of the Kings, the Vice President of the Government Carmen Calvo and the other members of the governing body of the institution. But it was not the only measure he announced. "To consolidate what we have, we will have to add growth with new venues. Dakar (Senegal) will be the closest. But we also added two new centers in the United States: Washington and Los Angeles, "he said.
Reinforcement in the United States and Gibraltar carries implicit strong reasons for cultural diplomacy. "Any attack on someone who speaks Spanish, as is happening now in the United States, is an offense to any of us," said García Montero. Hence the need to be part of a common strategy with the Ibero-American countries to defend our language and our culture. Not with dyes of superiority, as it was the intention of ascribing the linguistic policy to the Spain brand by the former president of the Government, Mariano Rajoy, but within the pan-Hispanic strategy put in common with Ibero-America. "We are 8% of Spanish speakers in the world, a small part, we must face challenges with humility and in conjunction with our sister countries," added the Granada poet. For that reason, García Montero will try to convince his Ibero-American partners to create an association similar to the one that gathers in the Eunic (European Union National Institutes for Culture) to European language and cultural institutions.
"I think it gave good results. In addition to the children and young people of Gibraltar they have removed the Spanish from their curriculum, so there is a lot of demand ".
Just three months have been enough for the Cervantes strategy to turn around. We will have to see if the figures accompany. For the expansion, García Montero needs more resources. At 124 million euros this year, it raises a 5% increase, to 131 million. "Let's see if they accept us," he said with the newly appointed secretary general of the institution, Carmen Noguero.
In addition, García Montero advanced other more internal measures. As the one that affects the Madrid office, on Calle Alcalá. "We want it to become a Museum of the Language," he said. Leave the exhibition space for a fixed platform around the language and not temporary, for various samples that will be itinerant by the centers.
To all this, the director also announced the incorporation to the board of very important creation figures, within the Hispanic sphere: "Joan Manuel Serrat, María Victoria Atencia, José Carlos Plaza, Estrella de Diego, Piedad Bonnett, Mariano Barroso and Ricardo Darín ", ad. To those who also join personalities of the company such as César Alierta.