Madrid, Aug 1 (EFE) .- The autonomous tour culminated this week by the kings has taken them to cover almost 17,000 kilometers repeating their messages of support and encouragement to institutions, sectors and groups that have made clear the seriousness of the crisis caused by the coronavirus.
Felipe VI and Doña Letizia have contacted representatives of businessmen, unions, hoteliers, farmers, ranchers, fishermen, health workers and social care centers, among others, on their journey, which has lasted for more than a month, to take the pulse of the situation.
They have listened to their concerns and demands and have been able to see how crowded tourist places other years on these dates were far from returning to normal, with half-empty beaches and dozens of closed establishments.
His conclusion, as explained by the head of state in the last stage of the tour, Asturias, is that after listening to all those points of view and checking the impact of COVID-19 on the spot, “it will not be easy” to overcome the serious situation that Spain lives.
But he said he was convinced to achieve it with “union, responsibility and solidarity” regardless of “the ideas and initials” of each.
TURN BETWEEN REBROTES
The mask has accompanied Don Felipe and Doña Letizia on their tour, either because its use was initially recommended or because it became mandatory in almost all territories due to the outbreaks of the virus.
Those outbreaks had already forced the Government of Aragon to adopt restrictive measures in some areas of the community when the royal couple visited the community.
With all the regional presidents they have been commenting on how the situation was evolving and Zarzuela has kept this in mind to prepare the agendas, but there was only one cancellation of events.
On July 20, after traveling to the Poblet Monastery, in Tarragona, they planned to carry out various events in Barcelona that were suspended due to the increase in infections.
NO TOWER OR MINISTERS OF PODEMOS
Therefore, the kings did not go to Barcelona. They limited their agenda to Poblet and the President of the Govern, Quim Torra, did not travel there, nor did he send any representative of the Generalitat to accompany Don Felipe and Doña Letizia.
He was the only regional president who has not been with them on this tour.
The rest have done so when they have landed in their respective communities, including the Lehendakari, Íñigo Urkullu.
Accompanying the kings there has always been a minister, but none of Podemos.
The one that has traveled the most with them (on four occasions) has been that of Culture and Sports, José Manuel Rodríguez Uribes, followed by the head of Industry, Commerce and Tourism, Reyes Maroto (three).
Some members of the Government have done so during visits to their places of origin, such as the first vice president, Carmen Calvo, at the stop they made in Córdoba.
VITORS AND CRITICISMS
In the towns and cities visited, Don Felipe and Doña Letizia have listened to Spain and the Crown for the most part.
But there was no lack of screaming and antimonarchical chants that, amid the controversy over the supposed opaque businesses of King Juan Carlos, have mixed with those cheers and in some stages have had special relevance.
Among them those of the Basque Country, Navarra and, especially, Catalonia, where the Mossos d’Esquadra came to arrest a person amid criticism of the independence formations.
The Roman Theater of Mérida, which was attended by the kings for the opening of the classical theater festival, also experienced a duel between living Spain and the kings, on the one hand, and proclamations in favor of the republic, on the other.
A duel that ended when a spectator asked to leave politics aside to focus on the culture that had brought them together.
That moment was also lived by Princess Leonor and Infanta Sofia. Both moved together with the kings to Mérida to reinforce their message of support for cultural tourism and theatrical performances in the face of their difficulties due to the pandemic.
Mérida was also the only place on their entire tour where the kings stayed overnight.
TORREZNOS, PAELLA AND ICE CREAM
The kings have toured promenades, town hulls, banana or peach plantations and vineyard fields, wineries, laboratories, technology centers, museums, temples or school farms, and have boarded fishing boats.
They have been entertained with dances such as an aurresku in the Basque Country or a jota montañesa in Cantabria and offers have followed one another to try some of the typical products of each area or of establishments installed in them.
There was no lack of torreznos in Soria, a sugar-free nougat ice cream in Benidorm, Iberian ham on the beach of Las Canteras in Gran Canaria, organic raspberries in the town of Vinuesa or the typical anchovies of Santoña (Cantabria).
And on their visit to the Valencian Community they chose one of the Malvarrosa beach restaurants to enjoy a typical paella.
Not on all occasions have they been seen tasting these products, but there were images of the monarch trying the nougat ice cream in the local of Benidorm that has already placed a poster on that variety to attract customers: “Felipe VI’s ice cream”.
He also tasted the ham offered by a Canarian bar where the queen, who chose not to try it, could be heard advising Don Felipe: “Lean on the bar.”
During her visit to a care center for people with intellectual disabilities in Cuenca, Ms. Letizia clarified the question asked by a young man who, after commenting that he had seen her act as a journalist on television and was no longer doing so, wanted to know if had tired.
The queen explained that she left him long ago when she married the then prince.
Also in Cuenca, they spoke with an ONCE saleswoman who offered a number close to that of her wedding date. Many journalists acquired it but without luck.
In their attempt to promote tourist activities, they traveled a section of the Camino de Santiago in Santo Domingo de la Calzada (La Rioja) that ended in its cathedral.
It is the only temple in the world with live animals inside (a rooster and a hen) in memory of a miracle that is attributed to whoever gives the town its name. The crowing of the rooster accompanied that visit.
In Torrelavega (Cantabria) the king proudly exhibited a cowbell with a red-and-white ribbon that had been regulated in the cattle market in that town before graphic informants, and the king also helped to make Soria’s claim patent to be taken into account .
Upon reaching the town hall square, he noticed that a banner from the platform “Soria ¡Ya!” With the slogan “Soria wants a future,” he had slipped off a fence and helped to position it so that it could be seen without problems.
(c) EFE Agency