An Informative Diplomatic Publication of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation JANUARY-MARCH 2011 N˚17. www.maec.es
Economic diplomacy as a strategy in international relations The Foreign Service promotes a policy of internionalization for Spanish industry. The Spanish brand strengthens on the market
FOREIGN ACTION > South Sudan, the birth of a State > The FAO looks for new leadership > 25 years of relations between Spain and Israel > Namibia, privileged partner for Spain. COOPERATION > The crisis in Libya, a humanitarian priorty. CULTURE AND SOCIETY > Santillana, a Fifty-Year Editorial Adventure. THE INTERVIEW > Antonio López: "The everyday is a generator for unsuspected emotions".
the facts and the image THE DATA
from the international partnership between Telefónica and China Unicom. Telefónica establishes itself in the Asian market, expanding its international presence to 25 countries.
Sofía International Award for Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Heritage was published by the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation and Development (AECID), and remains open for nominations.
Deputies paid homage to the political leaders from that moment in history with a series of events that included the participation of His Majesty the King.
millions of customers will benefit
of March. The Seventh Call for the Reina
anniversary of the 23-F coup d'état in 1981. The Congress of
This past March 3, an aircraft took off from the Torrejón Air Base loaded with five tons of humanitarian aid to assist the refugees crowded along the border between Libya and Tunisia. The same aircraft made three daily return trips between Djerba (Tunisia) and Cairo (Egypt) to evacuate refugees fleeing Libya following the uprising in that country. Spain was the first European country to send humanitarian assistance in response to the United Nations request from March 25, with a first shipment of 30 tons of shelter material. editorial office > Director: Mª Jesús García. Editor-in-Chief: José Bodas. Art Director, Editor and Writer: Javier Hernández. Contributors: Beatriz Beeckmans, Jacobo García, Pilar Cuadra, Ignacio Gómez, Pablo Pérez and Virginia Castrejana. management > Directorate General of Foreign Communication. Serrano Galvache, 26. 28033 MADRID. Published and printed by the Directorate General of Foreign Communication and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation. Whole or partial reproduction prohibited without the express consent of the publisher. Miradas al Exterior is not responsible for the editorial content or for the opinions expressed by the authors. email contact> email@example.com
66 > Antonio López: “The everyday generates truly unexpected emotions”
39 > Valladolid to Host the Global Microcredit Summit. 40 > 2011 Annual International Cooperation Plan Approved
on the cover
33 > Trinidad Jiménez Tours the Middle East.
38 > The Crisis in Libya, a Humanitarian Priority for Spain.
42 > Agustín de Foxá, Drops of Nostalgia on a Blue Background. 44 > State Museums: The Sephardim Museum of Toledo 48 > Santillana, a Fifty-Year Editorial Adventure. 52 > The Twenty-Fifth Goya Awards. 54 > Interview with Writer and Journalist Vicente Verdú.
culture and society
6 > Economic diplomacy and the development of internationalization as the core focus of the Spanish Foreign Service, adapting to this new reality
13 > Southern Sudan, the Birth of a State. 18 > The FAO Seeks New Leadership. 22 > 25 Years of Spanish-Israeli Relations. 26 > Namibia, a Privileged Partner for Spain. 30 > Interview with Gustavo Suárez Pertierra, Chairman of the Elcano Institute.
editorial board > President: Deputy Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation. First deputy chair: Director General of Foreign Communications. Second deputy chair: Technical Secretary General. Members: Cabinet Chiefs of the Minister, the Secretary of State for Foreign and Ibero-American Affairs, the Secretary of State for International Cooperation, and the Secretary of State for the European Union. > NIPO: 501-11-017-3
Economic Diplomacy as a Focus of Spanish Foreign Policy JosĂŠ Eugenio Salarich
Director General of International Economic Relations and Energy Policy
At the start of the 21st century, there are many reasons to reflect on the profound changes underway regarding how governments work to tackle many new global challenges, challenges which are shaking the foundations of the order established during the last century and will require a fresh approach, full of risks but also opportunities. We all seem to agree that there are three crises marking this new century: the security crisis, brought on by the monstrous attacks in New York in 2001, followed by others in Bali, Jakarta, Madrid and London; the crisis of trust and understanding between culture and civilizations as witnessed in the persecution of a Danish cartoonist; and the global financial and economic crisis, triggered by the collapse of one of the world's largest private financial institution, Lehman Brothers. These crises are undoubtedly instilling a new understanding of the world, and as such, the need exists to adopt new policies. However, this does not only mean adapting to changes in the international arena. Rather, we
must anticipate events before they occur. This is the only way we can fully take advantage of the opportunities presented to us in order to make our nations stronger, more unified, more sympathetic, more in tune with our environment, and more capable of meeting the legitimate demands of our citizenry. We are all aware of the important role of emerging economies in this new century. This importance is seen from both a political standpoint and, above all, an economic point of view, especially given the financial crisis and turmoil in international markets dragging on, which has had a particularly profound impact on the Spanish economy. Needless to say, the center of economic gravity has shifted to the Pacific basin, and large areas of the world such as Central Asia, the Persian Gulf and the Southern Cone of South America throw much of the current economic demand, and offer outstanding opportunities for investment and trade that must be taken advantage of. The Spanish government has for some time been making political efforts to approach areas that,
for reasons unknown, we have largely ignored throughout history, Asia and the Pacific in particular. We continue to build relations focused on friendship, cooperation and strategic partnership with the most important countries from this region, which happen to be the emerging economies in our new international equilibrium, in which our greatest political allies are also are primary competitors. During the last eight years, we have made Asia and the Pacific
a global priority in our foreign policy. Meanwhile, we continue to pay special attention to our three traditional foci: Europe, the Mediterranean and Latin America. But this will not suffice. Policy is not made for the mere sake of policy-making. It is made so that Spain can take on a greater role in the world, and so that good relations between governments can serve the true protagonists in foreign policy, that is, the citizens who are interested in promoting their interests on an international scale. The concept of economic diplomacy can be understood entirely within this framework; it is represented by the opportunity to put good political relations abroad to their best use, promoting the economic growth of Spain, so that our companies can create jobs and we can export homegrown technology
and promote our cultural industry abroad. The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation has insisted since her first day at the job on making the central idea of economic diplomacy the new focus of our foreign policy.
Germany, leaders of "product diplomacy" that have for some time established support for their domestic companies as a central focus of their foreign policy. To this end, the network of Council Foundations we have established with the leading countries of the world will be instrumental. These Foundations offer platforms for dialogue with civil society, promoted and managed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, while responding to private enterprise from the many sectors interested in developing a global approach with each respective country, constituting a foreign policy instrument that is truly at the service of the citizenry.
We will achieve this, firstly, through political participation within the G-20, taking advantage of Spain's historic inclusion in this Group with vast global reach. We have been presented with a unique opportunity to continue establishing close relations with the most developed nations on Earth, while also giving priority to the world's emerging economies in targeting Spain's economic diplomacy. We will redouble our efforts within the EU to support Association Agreements with all these countries, taking advantage of all that European cooperation can offer, by which Spain seeks to use its broadest influence in the areas and countries to which these economic policy objectives are aimed. The same is true with regard to the United Nations system in its financial, economic and commercial aspects. The Directorate General of Foreign and Ibero-American Relations, in close collaboration with Ministry of Industry, Tourism and Trade, the Ministry of Public Works and the Ministry of Science and Innovation, will be working to promote our exports, develop our foreign investment, support the international ambitions of our companies and attract investment to Spain. We wish to follow the example of countries such as the U.S., Japan, the United Kingdom, France and
The true protagonists of foreign policy are the citizens interested in promoting their interests on an international level.
We will work to promote our exports, develop foreign investment, support the international ambitions of our companies and attract investment to Spain.
Spain is now a world leader in key sectors for the economic development of many of the countries with the highest growth rates, ergo, with greater purchasing power and investment capacity. Infrastructure, telecommunications, transport, the traditional and renewable energy sectors, financial institutions, the chemical industry, cultural industries, fashion, gastronomy, civil engineering, the Spanish language and legal firms are just some of the most active sectors that have expanded significantly abroad and to which we will continue to provide active support. In short, we will boost the Spanish brand around the world, together with the promotion of a modern image of our country, featuring advanced technology, leadership in innovation and a host of multinational companies at the top of their respective sectors.
Traditionally, the main objectives of diplomacy have been international political cooperation and peacekeeping. However, the profound global changes that we have been experiencing in recent times have changed these objectives, establishing a primary role for international economic relations. As a result, what we know as economic diplomacy has been consolidated as a top priority of any foreign policy. In Spain, economic diplomacy is now one of the central pillars of a Foreign Service adapted to this new reality. by Arturo Carrascosa
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and the development of internationalization “Our foreign sector must be consolidated as a driving force of recovery and a stable vector for growth under Spain's new production model.” With these words, Alfredo Bonet, Secretary of State for Foreign Trade, recently opened a conference on Financial Support for Business Internationalization in Madrid. Those attending - most of whom were entrepreneurs - highlighted the strength of Spain's foreign sector on the basis of the latest statistics, and upheld the need to integrate
internationalization into business strategies. A few days earlier, the Spanish private sector announced the establishment of the Business Council for Competitiveness. The 17 corporations that have sponsored this initiative, together with the Family Business Institute (IEF), hope that it will serve to generate opinions
(documents, forums, etc.) as well as a bill presented by the PSOE (Spanish to organize international visits aimed Socialist Workers' Party) and supported at restoring the image of the Spanish by the CiU party, which advocates economy abroad and promoting government support and coordination the Spanish brand. Its ultimate goal of individual or collective efforts by is to continue moving forward in companies and business associations the internationalization of Spanish with interests abroad, encouraging companies. public-private cooperation. The For her part, shortly after assuming bill calls for the development of the the office of Minister of Foreign Affairs awareness and image of Spain and its and Cooperation, Trinidad Jiménez brands, and the promotion of Spanish declared the resolute intention of her products in international markets, "as department to capitalize on a benchmark of efficiency the good political relations and modernity." It also calls that Spain enjoys with Traditional for an expansion of Spain's countries with emerging diplomacy "international prominence" economies to ensure the has had adapt through alliances with international expansion to the new Spanish personalities in of our companies. In this economy, to the fields such as sports, culture, respect, she suggested that new financial science and business, as well the opportunities offered markets... as putting forward Spanish by regions such as China, citizens as candidates for India, Southeast Asia and the positions of international Pacific, Central Asia, the Persian Gulf importance. and the United States “should be seized In addition, the bill passed by upon in sectors such as infrastructure, Parliament advocates the strengthening transportation, renewable and electric of European Union association energy, telecommunications and agreements in Spain's traditional banking.” priority regions such as Latin America The Plenary Session of the and the Mediterranean, while also Congress of Deputies recently passed intensifying efforts in emerging
regions, and Spanish contributions to the economic and trade development strategies established by the UN, the World Trade Organization and the Doha Round agreements. All of these actions, aims and declarations aimed at improving and furthering the internationalization process of Spanish business represent a challenge that has characterized the foreign policy of our country: to draft and implement a form of economic diplomacy that will be of general benefit to both the public and private sectors. In the words of José Eugenio Salarich, General Director of International Economic Relations and Energy Policy at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, “the time has come to reap economically what has been sown politically in the last few years.” “Our objective" he adds "is to take advantage of the good network of political contacts so that Spanish companies are treated favorably in the awarding of contracts.” What is economic diplomacy? Historically, economic diplomacy was essentially a commercial affair. This was true of the work carried out by the first consulates of Spain, France, England and others, and even of the old States of Geneva and Venice, whose consuls were no more than trade delegates for their countries, paid and protected by the sovereigns of their day. In our times, the concept of economic diplomacy has changed substantially. The experts define it as the use of the political influence held by States to promote their economic interests in international markets. In this context, Professor of Economics Javier Morillas asserts that economic diplomacy “has not replaced conventional political diplomacy, but it has turned into an inseparable part of it... Thus, economic diplomacy negotiates the freedom to export and invest beyond national borders; it acts together with the companies
RANKING OF SPAIN'S TOP EXPORT DESINTATION COUNTRIES 2010
RANKING OF SPAIN'S TOP IMPORT ORIGIN COUNTRIES
os. Country P 1st France 2nd Germany 3rd Portugal 4th Italy 5th United Kingdom 6th United States 7th Netherlands 8th Belgium 9th Turkey 10th Morocco 11th Switzerland 12th Mexico 13th Poland 14th China
os. Country P 1st Germany 2nd France 3rd China 4th Italy 5th United Kingdom 6th Netherlands 7th United States 8th Portugal 9th Russia 10th Belgium 11th Algeria 12th Nigeria 13th Saudi Arabia 14th Japan
Amount 33,955,931 19,452,892 16,577,686 16,296,185 11,496,427 6,529,718 5,807,698 5,221,825 3,752,728 3,448,868 3,423,743 2,806,271 2,783,471 2,648,086
Amount 27,939,043 25,556,601 18,867,089 16,694,571 10,787,893 10,698,095 9,364,152 8,539,929 6,125,512 5,985,762 4,551,228 4,341,680 3,539,612 3,471,624
RANKING OF SPAIN'S TOP EXPORT SECTORS 2010
RANKING OF SPAIN'S TOP IMPORT SECTORS 2010
os. Country P Amount 1st Industrial technology 58,628,308 2nd Chemical industry 25,084,468 3rd Raw materials, semi-processed and intermediate products 16,056,315 4th Ancillary mechanical and construction industry 14,875,499 5th Fashion 14,507,190 6th Horticultural products 11,757,408 7th Environment and energy 10,014,207 production 8th Habitat 9,864,108 9th ICTs and telecommunications 4,219,797 10th Bakery and other 3,630,686
os. Sector P Amount 1st Industrial technology 51,947,287 2nd Environment and energy 43,505,667 production 3rd Chemical industry 33,249,612 4th Fashion 19,052,876 5th ICTs and telecommunications 15,304,999 6th Ancillarymechanicaland construction industry 14,835,604 7th Habitat 13,488,662 8th Raw materials, semi-processed and intermediate products 13,229,648 9th Leisure 6,763,769 10th Bakery and other 6,478,892
that operate abroad and, in the case of Europe, it forms the very basis of the construction of the European community itself.” Based on this assertion, the theoreticians of conventional diplomacy consider that if diplomacy is not focused on economic promotion, or lacks a consistent development in this area, it runs the risk of seeing its role devalued in the modern State. They give various reasons for this. The basic reason is because, added to the main objective of diplomacy (which would be to protect the citizens of each country abroad) should be that all nations strive
and work for the prosperity of their businesses. In other words, to achieve good results, diplomacy should also operate as a catalyst between the commercial and economic capacity of the country and the benefits that can be offered by other sectors, from cultural policy to technological innovation to international cooperation. The cohesion obtained from all these elements would constitute the real political strength of the State. And the greater this strength is, the greater will be the returns - first political, and then economic - that the country will receive.
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A public and private concern Juan Rosell Lastortras President, CEOE
Spanish diplomacy has undergone a change in objectives over the course of its history. What in other times was more focused on the maintenance of political and good neighbor relations has evolved towards economic relations, and the expansion and consolidation of Spanish interests abroad and of foreign investment in our country. The economic and trade dimensions of our foreign policy have become increasingly important. Our interests abroad now make up 60% of our GDP and represent the livelihood of several million Spaniards. At this time, Spain has one of the most open economies in the world. Spanish investments abroad support many Spaniards living both in and outside of Spain, whose jobs and incomes need to be protected and defended if we don't want to see a fall in the average standard of living in our country. This is why it is essential to revise the traditional concept of the Foreign Service. Spanish interests abroad need to have the support of our government, whose work must be focused on upholding those interests when they are in opposition to those of our partners and friends, using all the diplomatic instruments at its disposal. To do this, it is necessary to identify those interests, recognize their importance and pinpoint possible difficulties they may face.
In the past twenty years, the process of internationalization of Spanish business has reached a level of dynamism without precedent in our economic history. Spain has gone from being a recipient country of foreign investment to one of the biggest foreign investors in the international community. During the past few years, investments by Spanish companies abroad has placed our country among the world's top ten investors in other markets. Not just in the countries of Latin America, but also in the European Union, our companies have been positioning themselves in an increasingly active way. More recently, investment and activity by Spanish companies has also increased in the United States. Asia is the continent where we need to increase our business investments to a more significant degree. Companies and business organizations form an increasingly active part of international activity and are beneficiaries of the Foreign Service. Every government has the obligation to guarantee the security and safety of its citizens and to protect them at all times in their individual pursuit of their welfare. It therefore seems obvious that the business community, which creates wealth and generates jobs in and outside Spain, should be actively involved in the implementation of an
The economic and trade dimensions of our foreign policy have become increasingly important. Our interests abroad now make up more than 60% of our GDP.
appropriate foreign policy and be informed at all times about its application. Our country needs to develop a foreign policy based around clear shared interests and with a broad consensus about the best way to defend them. The Spanish Confederation of Business Organizations (CEOE), as a representative of the Spanish business community, and the Spanish Administration should design this policy together, to be adopted by the different political forces and applied by future governments. In this context, the foreign sector should constitute one of the pillars of the new model for Spanish growth. We must increase the coordination between all actors - public and private - involved in promotion and internationalization activities. To this end, it is necessary to maintain the budgetary funding for trade promotion policies and to introduce private criteria in the management and evaluation of these initiatives. With this objective, business organizations need to be provided with a stable framework for collaboration with the Administration in this area. Economic diplomacy is one of the main tools to be applied to keep moving forward on the path toward internationalization of our companies, and it will help us to solve the problems provoked by the current economic crisis.
Since the end of the last century, it has been the heads of state and government of each country who have led and represented the main support for their country's businesses, with an increase in the number of meetings with their foreign counterparts and of different international forums, so as to obtain contracts or tenders to the benefit of those businesses. The most striking and transparent example of this is the United States, where the leaders of the Administration not only proclaim but provide support for their companies, as part of what they refer to as a central objective of their foreign policy. The main reason for this was to ensure the strong growth of their foreign trade - and of the jobs associated with it - in the last decade of the 20th century. After the United States, France is the country with the highest
level of personal intervention by the President, Prime Minister and members of government on behalf of their companies. In Japan, it is the Ministry of Industry and Trade that is responsible for coordinating the nation's economic diplomacy, in close collaboration with the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Defense and even Education. A significant number of employees of this department travel the world during the school vacations to examine the situation of the global market. And in the United Kingdom, Canada and the Netherlands, the respective Ministries of Foreign Affairs follow matters related to economic diplomacy closely. In short, the form of economic diplomacy prominent throughout the second half of the 20th century was understood as the pursuit of economic objectives through diplomatic means,
whether supported by economic initiatives to achieve them or not, which at the same time pursued political objectives. This diplomacy of the late 20th century has now had to be adapted to the new economy, to the new flexible and volatile financial markets, to technological innovation and to the information society. And all of this occurs in a context in which companies compete internationally before States become involved. In our globalized world, any foreign service that seeks to be competitive must establish an appropriately adapted form of diplomacy that is conversant with both the negotiation of the rules of competition, and the agreements that need to be respected in world trade or the conditions of economic development. In these areas, economic diplomacy is especially important.
Council Foundations meet with the Foreign Minister to promote Spanish economic diplomacy To coordinate the activity of the Councils of Spain and promote Spanish economic diplomacy were the objectives of the reception held recently by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Trinidad Jiménez, with the Presidents of the Council-Foundations that Spain has established with Australia, China, the United States, India, Japan, Mexico and Russia. Among those present were Juan Rodríguez Inciarte and Emilio Lamo de Espinosa, President and Vice President of the
Spain-US Council Foundation, Juan Lladó, President of the Spain-China Council Foundation, and Pedro Solbes, President of the Spanish chapter of the Spain-China Forum. Among the topics addressed at the meeting was the role of civil society in fostering international relations with other countries, especially in relation to economic diplomacy. Minister Jiménez expressed her department's firm intention to promote economic diplomacy, with the aim of boosting
exports and encouraging Spanish investment in sectors in which Spain is a leader, such as infrastructure, transportation, telecommunications, civil engineering, fashion, sports and culture; sectors which are key to economic growth and job creation. There are currently seven CouncilFoundations supported and coordinated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation. The oldest
is the Spain-United States Council Foundation, while the most recent is the SpainAustralia Council Foundation, created in July 2010. Further Council Foundations may be established with countries that are essential for Spain's economic and cultural relations, such as Morocco and Brazil, to bring the civil societies of these nations closer in the interests of improved mutual understanding.
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In support of internationalization Alfredo Bonet
secretary of state for foreign trade
Internationalization has played an essential role in the process of development and modernization of our economy. In this way, the foreign sector has been consolidated as a driving force for recovery and economic growth that will play an even more important role in the new production model that we are developing. The Ministry of Industry, Tourism and Trade's Office of the Secretary of State for Foreign Trade is the body responsible for the design and implementation of the policies and instruments to promote internationalization, aimed at supporting Spanish companies that export goods and services or that invest abroad, as well as helping to attract foreign investment. We are working on various strategies, ranging from increasing the number of exporter companies to diversifying our exports toward markets with greater potential, eliminating obstacles and barriers and orienting our companies toward those markets, increasing the added value of our products by promoting competitiveness factors such as design, brand, innovation or quality and contributing to the improvement of the "Made in Spain" image. We are also trying to promote their investments abroad and to attract a larger volume of direct foreign investment and encourage reinvestment in companies established in Spain. Our objective is, in short, to support companies undergoing the internationalization process with effective instruments and defend their interests abroad.
Insofar as these interests may also be considered State interests, internationalization policy must include institutional and political support for companies, institutions and foreign governments in the area referred to as economic diplomacy. International market conditions are evolving on the basis of the increased competition resulting from the rebalancing of economic power currently taking place in the world. This necessitates constant monitoring of these economic and political transformations in order to advise and guide companies on solid bases, but also the construction of privileged bilateral relationships so as to be able to offer them institutional support. Globalization has had the effect of increasing the importance of economic and trade diplomacy in foreign policy in the world. In our case, the close coordination between the Office of the Secretary of State for Foreign Trade and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation is therefore increasingly necessary, both in Spain and abroad. Around the world, the 100-strong network of Economic and Trade Offices at our embassies constitutes an administrative structure specifically designed and deployed to assist companies in their internationalization, as centers for information and advice, for the provision of services with added value, for the implementation of promotional activities on the ground and the defense of our specific interests before local public and
Our objective is to support companies undergoing the internationalization process with effective instruments and defend their interests abroad.
private institutions in the context of our foreign policy initiatives. This task of greater coordination abroad must be complemented by the development of collaboration in Spain on three different levels. At one level, with the other institutions active in this area, such as Autonomous Communities and Chambers of Commerce, with which we have been making significant steps forward in the context of the Interterritorial Internationalization Council. On a second level, with the other ministries that are active internationally, which is why we will soon see the establishment of the new Interministerial Work Group which, under our leadership, will allow the incorporation into internationalization policy of the priorities of other sectoral or parallel policies. And thirdly, with the private sector, with which we have established various instruments for permanent dialogue, with a scope that is both sector- and businessbased, which are necessary to deliver the support they require. The foreign sector will increase its importance in our economic activity in the coming years, and it is the responsibility of the Administration to encourage this process by supporting companies in their expansion. This economic and trade dimension must be increasingly incorporated into our foreign policy in the context of a focus that gives priority to specialization and capitalizes on the synergies offered by the close and loyal collaboration between the trade and diplomatic administrations.
The example of the Council Foundations Antonio Garrigues Walker
President of the law firm Abogados Garrigues
I have had the opportunity of participating in all of the Council Foundations that have been created at the initiative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the last few years, and I have shared with them their challenges, their achievements and their difficulties. The first was the Spain-United States Council and the most recent the Spain-Australia Council, and more are expected to be created in the future. Russia, China, India, Japan and Mexico are the other countries where a formula for relations has been applied that has the following three features: The Foundations are legally private entities relying basically on private funding, but they also benefit from the involvement and support of the Ministry and in many cases the collaboration of local councils and Autonomous Communities. They are an example of publicprivate synergy which to date has functioned very effectively, due largely to the incredible capacity for action of a small team of civil servants and Ministry officials who successfully tackle difficult and complex tasks and spur on the global activity of the Foundation. Although they are concerned with promoting economic relations as a whole and financial and business relations in particular, the Foundations have broader objectives and attend to cultural relations in the sense that industries and cultural exchanges foster better understanding between peoples and thereby contribute to multiplying and enriching other relations.
The Foundations have a clear willingness to collaborate with other public and private institutions and agencies with similar objectives, including them in many cases on the respective boards, thereby helping to some extent to redress the resistance to collaboration and synergy that prevails among us. The Council Foundations have fulfilled and continue to fulfill an important role in a field that is decisive for our future, a field in which we are moving forward with too much uncertainty. We Spaniards have a certain tendency to undervalue our achievements and capacities as well as our faults and limitations. It would be good and healthy for us to attempt to correct this tendency, because operating in today's world disconnected from its realities is not a wise approach; indeed, it is dangerous, as in doing so, objectives and strategies are erroneously defined and decisive opportunities are lost. Among our deficits is the deficit of internationalization arising from our isolation during the dictatorship which provoked, among many other things, the delay of our incorporation into Europe. All isolations and delays – a lesson that always must be learned - are costly because their negative effects, although they can be overcome, take time to be corrected. And they are never overcome without great and continuous effort. To this original deficit are added – almost always as effects arising from the
The Foundations are legally private entities relying basically on private funding, but they also benefit from the involvement and support of the Ministry and in many cases the collaboration of local councils and Autonomous Communities.
first - a lack of knowledge about and interest in the new geopolitical situations and their implications. In Spain “the international sphere” does not generate passion, and in some cases it provokes utter rejection. Nobody seems to accept - as Lord Acton once asserted that “foreign policy ends up directly affecting our wallets.” In spite of all of the above, the progress made in this field, especially in the last decade, is undeniable. We are, at last, on the right track. Even so it must be accepted that compared to the nine original EEC members the negative differential continues to be profound in cultural and economic areas. The language deficit - the data is unquestionable - is another of the difficulties to be faced, and it is no small or unimportant matter. This deficiency magnifies the others and sometimes becomes - although it may not be acknowledged - an insuperable obstacle, either real or mental. In improving the internationalization process it has to be acknowledged that the role of the public sector has on the whole been positive and certainly much greater than that of the private sector. Civil society, chambers of commerce and above all business associations have to increase their activities in this area and raise awareness and guide the public regarding the impact and importance of our position and our action in the world. The Council Foundations can be especially useful in this process.
foreign affairs 13
Sudanese women celebrate the results of the referendum in the streets of Yuba, the capital of Southern Sudan, flying the flag of this fledgling nation. PHOTO: EFE
The emergence of a new country is without a doubt a singular and infrequent occurrence. If the birth of this new country takes place in Africa, a continent that has made the inviolability of colonial borders a sacrosanct principle, the magnitude of the event is greater still. This article uncovers the complex history that has led to the independence of Southern Sudan, as well as the challenges ahead for what will be the fifty-fourth African country. by Patrick Sandoval Nichols and Juan Claudio de Ram贸n Jacob-Ernst
Southern Sudan, the Birth of a State The world's first Islamic revolution took place in Sudan in the latter part of the 19th century. In 1881, religious leader Muhammad Ahmad bin Abd Allah, the self-proclaimed Mahdi, Guide or Messiah, led a nationalist revolt that culminated in the taking of Khartoum in 1885 and the murder of the British Governor, the notorious General Charles George Gordon. The
Mahdist theocracy was overthrown in 1899, when the British and Egyptians divided Sudan into two regions, North and South. This separation was inspired by the British plan to one day unite the southern half with the rest of its colonies in East Africa, Kenya, Tanganyika and Uganda, thereby requiring the containment of Islamic expansion throughout
the country. The outcome of British policy was the consolidation of the two very separate regions. While the Arab and Muslim North developed its economy, agriculture, infrastructure and government institutions, the Sub-Saharan and Animist South was subject to Christian missionary campaigns to evangelize the local population, marginalizing their
indigenous belief system. Shortly before independence in 1956, administration of the country passed to Sudanese hands, while of the eight hundred positions available, only four were given to South Sudanese. The first Sudanese Civil War was a result of Khartoum's failure to create a federal government system, the only way for Sudan to have become a viable country. Following seventeen years of conflict, and half a million dead, in 1972 the Addis Ababa Agreement was signed under the auspices of Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie, which conceded the autonomy the South had sought. In 1983, the decision of Gaafar Nimeiri to declare Sudan as an Islamic and unified State, imposing strict observance of Sharia Law throughout the country, brought the war with the South yet again, during which time the charismatic John Garang would emerge as founder of the Sudan People's Liberation Army. This time, civil war dragged on for twenty-one years, with a chilling cost of some two million lives, the highest casualty rate of any armed conflict since the Second World War, while also leaving more than four million people internally displaced. The situation worsened following the coup d'ĂŠtat which installed Omar alBashir as President, who continues to govern Sudan as part of the National Congress Party. It is not easy to identify just one cause of this conflict. At times the Sudanese Civil War would seem to be a struggle between an expansive central government and an oppressed and abandoned periphery (the South). Others see it as a racial confrontation between Arabs and Sub-Saharan Africans, a religious strife between Muslims and Christian-Animists, or a linguistic division between Arabic-dominated Khartoum and the Nilotic languages of the South. Some historians trace the origin of Sudan's tribulations to poor management during the colonial period at British
Blue Nile Geneina
Al Fashir White Nile Nyala
Kaduqli Addis Ababa
central african republic
Photos at left, a woman exercising her right to vote at a polling place in Juba this past January 9. Below, the President of Sudan, Omar Hassan alBashir, greets the President of South Sudan, John Garang, in a photo taken in 2005. Upper image, the two ballot options: unity, represented by the clasped hands, and separation, represented by the open palm of a hand. PHOTO: EFE
and Egyptian hands. For instance, following an Egyptian expedition in 1839 in search of gold and marble across the Suud, some 40,000 square kilometers of marshland forming a natural barrier between what would become the North and South of
Sudan, the black Africans of the South were sold into slavery by the Arab population. Add to all this the issue of oil: 80 out of 100 oil reserves are in the South, while the refineries and the only oil pipeline are in the North. On January 9, 2005, the second
a Sudanese Civil War was ended with the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (the CPA). Through the CPA, the former enemies became partners in a national unity government. The Agreement established stronger autonomy for the South, which was to be governed by local custom, not by Sharia Law, which would continue to be the main source of legal principle in the North. For the first time the ethnic diversity of Africa's largest country had found a satisfactory legal arrangement. But without a doubt, the most important part of the CPA was a provision that allowed for a referendum in the South, allowing the people to either confirm unity with the North or choose to secede. As a counterweight to this significant concession, the parties agreed to work together to "make Sudanese unity an attractive option for the South." A period of six years was allowed for this to happen. The CPA, despite allowing the right to independence of part of the national territory, was designed to serve as a national reconciliation agreement, which would undo the exclusion of the South in domestic affairs. Independence would come about only if the attempt at forging a new Sudan failed. In this regard, the South was to have proper representation in governmental institutions. Integrated military units, made up of the Sudanese armed forces and the Southern guerrillas, were to create a new unified national army. One may wonder whether the signatories truly believed in Sudanese unity, or saw the independence of the South as an inevitable outcome. Were this the case, the CPA would be for the South a six-year tactical truce. It bears mentioning that John Garang, the historic rebel leader, was never a separatist; he always defended a unified, secular and democratic Sudan. His death in a helicopter accident in July 2005, five months after the signing of the CPA, greatly
complicated the survival of a unified Sudan, as his successors were much cooler on defending the unity option. Added to the lack of unionist support among Garang's successors (which declined as time went by) was the lack of political will on the part of the North to take advantage of the means provided through the CPA to save the unity of Sudan. Measures that would have made unity an attractive choice for the South, such as effective legislation on land ownership, improved protection of human rights and minorities, implementation of a truly national government system, were either never adopted or slow to materialize. At least twice the ceasefire was broken, and integrated military units did not succeed in creating a national armed forces. The conflict in Darfur, continuing throughout the transition period, distracted efforts that would have been necessary for the transition to democracy throughout the country. Meanwhile, the International Community came to see the outcome of "a unified Sudan or a peaceful separation" as the objective to be upheld at all cost. Finally, the referendum took place in January 2011, meeting the established timeline. The landslide victory for independence (98% of voters opted for secession) caught no one by surprise. Finally, the International Community has implemented a new policy of incentives, aimed at lessening the blow to the Government of Sudan, which has officially recognized the results, represented by the loss of one third of its territory and population, as well as a large part of its oil revenue. The Obama Administration has been particularly bold in this regard, offering Khartoum relief from foreign debt owed to Washington, as well as the partial lifting of sanctions imposed on the Bashir regime and removal of Sudan from the list of state sponsors of terrorism, in exchange
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for progress in resolving issues pending agreement. These issues include matters like citizenship and nationality status of minorities, definitive boundary demarcation, creation of a common currency, the sharing of accumulated foreign debt and the distribution of wealth, particularly oil reserves. The touchstone continues to be the future of the Abyei Province. This strategic enclave, rich in petroleum resources, is governed by a special protocol that provides for a simultaneous referendum with the South to decide to which of the two regions it will belong. There are two questions at play: the boundaries of the province (the South does not allow any modification to the boundaries drawn by the Permanent Arbitration Court, which took significant oil fields from the North, giving most of the fertile lands to the South), and voting rights (the Misseriya nomadic tribe fears the loss of their grazing rights, and aspire to take part in the referendum to decide the fate of Abyei, which the South flatly opposes). Growing tensions between communities and the security situation in Abyei, where incidents have been reported, contribute to a highly volatile situation. In recent months, more than two hundred people have been killed by the violence, which is not given much publicity for fear of destabilizing the whole process. In hindsight, the achievements of those who spent thirty months negotiating and drafting the CPA deserve recognition. While it is true that the Agreement has not met its goal of democratic transformation for the whole of Sudan, the fact remains that the detailed terms and measured language set forth on its more than 250 pages have encouraged six years of relatively peaceful coexistence in a country where war between the North and South has been the norm since independence in 1956.
Spanish-Sudanese Relations Ramón Gil-Casares
spanish ambassador to sudan
There have been few contacts between Spain and Sudan across history. Indeed, the paths of our two countries have seldom met through the centuries. In the minds of many Spaniards, a somewhat idealized view of Sudan may exist, including images of the so-called "Black Pharaohs" of the Upper Nile; of the Dervish rebellion against the rule of Muhammad Ahmad bin Abd Allah and the death of General Gordon in 1885; or of Saint Josephine Bakhita, the canonized slave girl. However, there are two very separate occasions in which Sudan has found itself at the center of Spain's approach towards the African continent during the past thirty-some years. The first was in 1978. As part of its transition to democracy, Spain was laying the groundwork for what would be its new foreign policy. During that same year, under the Sudanese presidency of the Organization for African Unity (OAU), a proposition was submitted within the Decolonization Committee
of said Organization on "the territorial integrity of Africa and outlaying islands." This proposal was designed for use by Canary Islands independence groups to defend their position. Minister Marcelino Oreja decided to quicken the pace of our approach to the African continent, launching what came to be called "Operation Africa." The operation consisted of increasing contacts with the main countries and leaders from Africa, explaining the reality of our country, which was little known in that region for the lack of traditional contacts. Several government missions and parliamentary delegations toured African nations, making contact with a world little known to our politicians, but whose importance for Spain was becoming ever clearer.
2005 marked a moment of renewed awareness in Spain of Africa. The problems in Africa inspired a sense of solidarity within our civil society.
In the end, the OAU Summit of Heads of State and Government was held in Khartoum that July, where the proposal was rejected. But, thanks to “Operation Africa” the groundwork for Spain's early diplomacy in Africa had been
But without a doubt, the great lesson to be learned from the Sudanese experience is that the marginalization of minorities by a powerful center is a sure path to the disintegration of the State. We must keep in mind that Sudan will continue to be a multiethnic state, even after
independence of the South; two million South Sudanese live in the slums of the outskirts of Khartoum, surviving off the service sector of the capital city, while thousands of Arab Sudanese live and work in the cities of the South. The challenge of forging a pluralist democracy
set. The first trips of Their Majesties the King and Queen were organized to Sub-Saharan Africa, as well as visits of various heads of state and government from the region to Madrid, including that of the president of Sudan, Gaafar Nimeiri, in 1978. The first Spanish Embassy in Sudan was opened, and new opportunities for collaboration and diplomacy were developed from the contacts established at the summit held in the Sudanese capital, as well during implementation of Spain's first cooperation programs with subSaharan Africa. In short, this was the beginning of Spanish foreign policy in Africa. Unfortunately for SpanishSudanese relations, the Sudanese peace process initiated by President Nimeiri failed during the years following his visit to Madrid. A new and bloody civil war began in 1983 between the North and the South, making closer contacts impossible, and mutual interest steadily fell off over time. In 1987, Sudan closed its Embassy in Madrid and in 1992 the Spanish
a Government did the same with its Embassy in Khartoum, reducing relations to practically nothing. 2005 marked a moment of renewed awareness in Spain of Africa. The problems plaguing the continent (migration, armed conflict, poverty, human rights violations) inspired a sense of solidarity within our civil society. The Spanish Government responded by quadrupling official development aid to Africa, concentrating assistance, given the lack of internal structures, in multilateral funds and contributions to United Nations entities. This same year, the Spanish public became aware of the armed conflicts in Darfur. Coinciding with this news however was that of the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), a definitive political solution to a conflict which had seemed to be without hope. Sudan once again found itself at the center of Spanish interests in forming a new Africa policy. In effect, during the following six years, Spain would participate in both Oslo Donor Conferences, contributing more than 82 million euros in support of the Peace Plan and to alleviate the humanitarian crisis in Darfur. The majority of this contribution would be channeled through multi-donor funds managed by multilateral
organizations, allowing Spain to maintain a presence in the forming of programs for development in both the North and South of Sudan, and to join Sudanese officials involved in seeking a political end to the conflict. As a result, in July 2006 Spain reopened its Embassy in Khartoum, and in September of the same year the Government of Sudan designated a new Ambassador to Madrid. The following years saw a significant increase in visits by Spanish officials to Sudan and Sudanese officials to Spain. This series of meetings culminated with the visit to Madrid of the Minister of Foreign Affairs Ahmed Ali Karti in October 2010. On this occasion a cooperation framework agreement was signed, which will facilitate the development of new bilateral cooperation programs and will result in increased relations at all levels.
Both the North and South of Sudan will need the assistance and collaboration of the international community in coming years.
In moving forward, Spain must become accustomed to dealing with the two separate states resulting from the CPA. Khartoum will continue to represent a priority. The Spanish Government, as affirmed by Minister Trinidad JimĂŠnez, has a special interest in the stability and development of the Republic of the Sudan. In this stage in Sudanese history,
remains. The International Community must support efforts at reform and modernization within the NCP. Indeed, Khartoum will undoubtedly be affected by the winds of modernization blowing across Northern Africa. In the South, the challenges are
greater still. Upon independence, it will become the world's poorest country. What's more, the population is made up of tribes (the Dinka and Nuer are the predominant groups), historically at odds and in constant competition for land. It is thought that these differences will come to the
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Spain is willing to contribute to these two core objectives. Our intention to forgive bilateral debt, as agreed within the appropriate framework, offers evidence of this commitment. Likewise, our aid programs in Darfur will continue while new areas and sectors for cooperation are explored in both the political and economic spheres. Khartoum will continue to key role in the stability of the Horn of Africa and in the consolidation of the IGAD as an essential subregional organization in defense of peace and security in Africa. Similarly, Spain has already made contact with the government of South Sudan, whose Minister of Energy, Mr. Garang Diing Akuong, visited Madrid in January 2011. An office was recently opened in Juba under the embassy in Khartoum, to deal with political issues and cooperative relations with officials from the new country Both the North and South of Sudan will need the assistance and collaboration of the international community in coming years. Spain has already announced its plan to maintain presence in both regions, primarily as part of our role in the international community, but also because of the many new opportunities of all kinds to be presented in these regions, which our country must embrace.
foreground once the common rival disappears that once united them. It is well understood that a democratic tradition cannot be improvised. The name to be adopted by the new State is yet unknown. We do know its number: the fifty-forth African country.
At the dawn of the 21st century, the international community is equipped with the structures needed to tackle the challenges, both new and old, faced by humanity. The most important among them, the eradication of world hunger, is in the hands of the FAO, an organization undergoing sweeping reform and recalibration. Spain submits its candidate, Miguel Ă ngel Moratinos, with the conviction that he will bring this task to fruition. by Miradas al exterior
The FAO Seeks New Leadership The year was 1974. The international public was engaged, opening the way for the proclamation of the World Food Conference declaring that â€œAll men, women and children have the inalienable right to be free from hunger and malnutrition.â€? The Conference, sponsored by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, resulted in a call for the eradication of world hunger in a period of ten years. This decision seemed to represent the realization of the desire expressed in 1943 by representatives from 44 countries who met in Hot Springs, Arkansas, to create a permanent organization dedicated to eradicating world hunger: the FAO. However, the road ahead would contain many obstacles. Although the organization managed to mobilize non-governmental support for this cause in the 1960s, creating the FAO/ WHO Codex Alimentarius on food standards, the 1974 agreement on food security proved to be insufficient. From then on, the Organization
focused on more concrete objectives, and the latter part of the 1970s saw the creation of the FAO Technical Cooperation Program for emergency response, as well as the holding of a World Forestry Congress, focused on forestry development. In the 1980s, the Organization strengthened its relations with developing countries, brought visibility to the problem of hunger with the creation of the World Food Day, and perfected its instrumentation with AGROSTAT (today known as FAOSTAT), the world's most comprehensive source of agricultural information and statistics. During the 1990s, the International Plant Protection Convention was signed and the Special Program for Food Security was implemented, aimed at lower-income countries with food deficits, as well as the Emergency Prevention System for Transboundary Animal and Plant Pests and Diseases. It was during this time that the FAO began its first serious reform process, aimed at
decentralizing activities, streamlining procedures and reducing expenses. The decade ended with a new World Food Summit, as well as initiatives such as Telefood and the plan of action on fishing capacity, sharks and seabirds. The new millennium has seen a continuation of this trend; advances are being made in technical cooperation, although the goal to eradicate world hunger seems further away than ever. The FAO's collaborative strategy with United Nations organizations to combat chronic hunger and the decision
during the 2002 World Food Summit to reduce hunger by half by 2015 is on track to becoming a general statement of intent. As a result of these political decisions, the work of the Organization was enhanced during subsequent years. The International Treaty on Plant Resources for Food and Agriculture was signed, the International Conference on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development was held, and the Organization inaugurated its Crisis Management Center for animal health emergencies. Climate change, production of biofuels and food prices became part of the central focus of the FAO strategy. In 2009, facing a world with 1.02 billion people suffering from
chronic hunger, the FAO focused on developing quick response mechanisms for urgent food crises and on implementing the "1billionhungry Project." However, the FAO has been unable to bring about significant progress in achieving the Millennium Development Goals. The FAO Faces New Challenges. In effect, today the FAO is a neutral forum where all countries gather on equal footing to negotiate agreements and debate policies. In addition to serving as a source of knowledge and technical information, the Organization helps developing countries modernize and improve agricultural, forestry and fishing activities, with special attention to the development of rural areas.
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With the emergence of what has come to be referred to as the new 21st century international architecture, the Organization is presented with a new opportunity to provide leadership in a worrying situation that could be result in the failure to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. Still more than 1 billion people suffer from chronic hunger, and food prices have risen steadily since mid2010. It is in this context that Spain has made a strong commitment to a new direction for the FAO, with the candidacy of Miguel ﾃ］gel Moratinos, a man of great political
standing in international affairs, fiercely committed to international cooperation for the development of the Organization's objectives. He is a fitting candidate for his extensive international experience as the Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation and his long career in diplomacy. With a global platform, focused on cooperation between the Global North and South, the Spanish
the platform of the spanish candidacy Under the slogan "Food Security Now and for All," the Spanish candidate has prepared a platform outlining the objectives of his candidacy. We invite you to learn more about this platform. 1Eradicate hunger. This objective, based on the Right to Food and approached through a Country Indicative Program for each target nation, is the key to meeting the 1st Millennium Development Goal. 2Guarantee food security
candidacy seeks to transcend borders and offer a broad and comprehensive candidacy, a candidacy at the service of all nations and committed to the principles and values that inspire the Organization. The selection process will take place during the month of June, and will include six candidates from Iraq, Iran, Indonesia, Austria, Brazil and Spain in an elimination process through successive rounds.
by 2050. To this end, national investments in sustainable agriculture will be strengthened in developing countries, while increasing the percentage of ODA allocated to the agricultural sector. 3Make the FAO into a pillar of global governance. In this regard, the candidate seeks to develop the political profile of the Organization. 4Prevent and manage future food crises, making use of prevention systems in place and paying special attention to the volatility of food prices, thereby promoting market transparency.
This election process, based on the UN system of one vote per each of the 191 nations that make up the FAO Conference, will determine the future of the organization and how the problem of global hunger will be managed going forward. The member states must be aware of their responsibility in selecting the best candidate, and of the fact that a world with hunger will never be a world with peace.
5Strengthen the role of small farmers and rural women, with particular focus on their living conditions and their access to land. 6Guarantee sustainable management of natural resources through new international legal instruments. 7Complete FAO reforms in order to increase efficiency and effectiveness in service to its member states, with modernized human resource policies and the strengthening of national, subregional and regional offices under the principle of decentralization.
8Enhance collaboration with United Nations actors, formalizing institutional agreements and strengthening existing agreements to adapt them to new situations. 9Open the organization to civil society and collaborate with social movements comprised of farmers and rural women as well as NGOs associated with these issues. 10Actively promote awareness in global public opinion, including civil society and governments and parliaments of member states, informing them of the devastating effects of world hunger.
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An FAO for the 21st Century Miguel ﾃ］gel Moratinos
CANDIDATE FOR THE DIRECTORATE GENERAL OF THE FAO
Eleven years have passed since the International Community made a firm commitment to lay the groundwork for what it believed to be a just international order for the 21st century: the agreement on the Millennium Development Goals. We are quickly approaching the 2015 milestone in meeting these goals, especially the first and most urgent among them, to eradicate extreme poverty and world hunger, but the outcome is still far from meeting our initial expectations. The next four years will be vital in achieving the goals we set for ourselves. The FAO, together with its highlyqualified technical and human resources, must play a central role in the new international structure if we are to bring greater visibility to the fight against hunger. To this end, I have decided to present my candidacy for the post of Director General of the FAO, placing myself at the full disposal of the Organization to guide the process toward meeting the proposed objectives. With this in mind, I am basing my candidacy around five challenges that I will tackle in the coming years, taking policies of gender equality as a transversal element, and a stimulus for broader development policy. The first and most ambitious challenge consists of eliminating extreme hunger by 2015 with specific programs and monitoring mechanisms in each country. In this regard, the 21st century can bring to fruition the dreams of the
20th century: to eradicate hunger and extreme poverty and to uphold Human Rights, the Right to Food and the Millennium Development Goals. Our second challenge consists of strengthening food security to guarantee the supply of food to nine billion people. We must increase global food production by 70% in order to feed mankind by 2050, and this requires increased public investment in the agrofood sector. This investment, which must reach 10% of GDP in developed countries, can only be attained through a broad consensus for the committed support of the international community. Strengthening transparency in food and agricultural markets and developing crisis alert systems constitute the third challenge, to control the extreme volatility of food prices and the consequences of this volatility in markets. I believe the FAO must adopt policies to improve informational systems and access by small farmers and vulnerable populations to markets. The fourth challenge involves completing the reforms of the FAO, both internally and externally, while seeking new sources of public and private financing. The FAO must come out of this process renewed and strengthened, ready to tackle new challenges and lead global governance of food security. Our fifth and final challenge
The 21st century can bring to fruition the dreams of the 20th century: to eradicate hunger and extreme poverty and to uphold Human Rights, the Right to Food and the Millennium Development Goals.
consists of making the FAO into a pillar of the new international architecture, capable of interaction with the rest of the United Nations agencies and other actors from the international community. In this regard, we need to mobilize resources in order to complete institutional reforms in global governance, providing the FAO with a decisive role in addressing current challenges in human security. In presenting my candidacy, I have sought to develop an inclusive and comprehensive platform, based on the idea of effective multilateralism, capable of overcoming geographic, economic, cultural and political divisions. With this platform, I seek to gather the greatest amount of support, with the conviction that a multitude of contributions will enrich these general action points, converting them into concrete commitments. With this platform, which remains open to dialogue and new proposals, the FAO must become a forum for the suggestions and ideas of governments, multilateral and regional entities, social movements, NGOs, private enterprise, the business community, universities, research centers and think tanks. Today, we find ourselves at a decisive moment in history, and I am convinced that eradicating hunger constitutes an urgent moral obligation in an interdependent world, a world in which global security is not possible without food security.
The celebration of the 25th Anniversary of the Opening of Diplomatic Relations between Spain and Israel offers us a moment to ponder how this decision represented a strategic change in our foreign policy, constituting a fundamental part of Spain's transition in the area of foreign affairs. Political, economic and social ties with Israel have grown impressively during these past twenty-five years. The development of closer ties has helped both Spain and Israel tackle fundamental issues collectively, such as the relaunching of the peace process or the threats to stability and security in the Middle East. Without a doubt, the opening of relations with Israel has allowed Spain to take a prominent role in the Middle East. by Javier Soria Quintana
25 Years of SpanishIsraeli Relations On January 17, 1986 at 9:30 in the morning, the "Operation ERDEI" was complete, the name given to the secret negotiations for the Opening of Diplomatic Relations between Spain and Israel (ERDEI, in Spanish), putting an end to a history of disengagement. This operation was
ten key dates for spanish-israeli relations 1986 > Diplomatic Relations established between Spain and Israel 1991 > Madrid Peace
handled by Spanish Ambassador Juan Antonio Yáñez-Barnuevo, currently serving as Secretary of State for Foreign and Ibero-American Affairs and then Director of the International Department of the Presidency, and then General Secretary of the Presidency, Julio Feo. On the part of
Conference: Start of the Arab-Israeli Peace Process 1992 > 500th Anniversary of the Expulsion of Jews from Spain: King Juan Carlos visits the Beth Yaacov Synagogue, accompanied by the President of Israel, Chaim
Israel, Misha Harish and Uvi Savir, advisers to Prime Minister Shimon Peres, led the negotiations. Within the Ministry, the work of Jorge Dezcallar, the Director General of Foreign Policy for Africa and the Middle East was essential, who accompanied Subsecretary Máximo Cajal to the
Herzog 1993 > State Visit by Their Majesties the King and Queen to Israel 1994 > Isaac Rabin and Yassir Arafat awarded the Prince of Asturias Award for International Cooperation following the Oslo Accords 1995 > Euro-Mediterranean Summit in Barcelona 2002 > First meeting of the Quartet for Middle East Peace in Madrid during the Spanish EU Presidency
2004 > First Official Day of Remembrance of the Holocaust and the Prevention of Crimes Against Humanity 2005 > OSCE Conference in Córdoba on Anti-Semitism and other Forms of Intolerance 2006 > Creation of the Casa Sefarad-Israel
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signing of the agreement in The Hague. Ambassador Samuel Hadas, permanent Israeli representative to the OMT since 1981, opened prior channels for dialogue with diplomats Manuel Sassot and Pedro Lﾃｳpez de Aguirrebengoa (later to become the first Spanish Ambassador to Israel). Prior to this, Spain and Israel had made certain efforts towards rapprochement. If during the fifties, Israeli efforts were met with Spanish disinterest, this trend was reversed during the sixties. In 1960, the Franco regime made efforts to bring attention to the heroic acts of Spanish diplomats during the Holocaust, and in 1967, during the Seven Days War, Spanish authorities helped to evacuate and protect many Jews in Arab countries, as was the case with the operation of Ambassador ﾃ］gel Sagaz in Cairo, who evacuated forty Sephardic families.
From top to bottom. Picture from the exchange of notes between the Subsecretary of the Foreign Ministry, Mﾃ｡ximo Cajal, and the Adjunct Director General of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Relations, Josue Anug, in The Hague on January 17, 1986. Two days later, the Spanish President, Felipe Gonzﾃ｡lez met with his Israeli counterpart, Shimon Peres, at the residence of the Dutch Prime Minister, Ruud Lubbers, to officially reestablish diplomatic relations between both countries. On February 20, 1986, the first Israeli Ambassador to Spain, Samuel Hadas, presented his Letters of Credentials before His Majesty King Juan Carlos I. PHOTOS: EFE
The End of the "Foreign Affairs Transition." In 1986, the ERDEI helped Spain to complete the transition of Spanish foreign policy. That same year, Spain joined the European Communities, and was made a permanent member of NATO by way of referendum. With the ERDEI and the establishing of diplomatic relations with Albania, Spain achieved universality in its diplomatic relations. Relations with Israel allowed Spain to develop a balanced and constructive foreign policy in the Middle East. Instead of drawing critical reaction from the Arab world, Spain was able to achieve simultaneous improvements in relations with Arab countries, in particular the PLO. Within the terms of the ERDEI, established in the appendix to the joint statement, Spain confirmed its commitment to the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people, as well as to Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338. The success of this policy was noted when in 1991 Spain was selected by all parties to host the Madrid Peace Conference. In 1995, Spain furthered
the Euro-Mediterranean diplomatic process with the Barcelona Summit. In 2002, during the Spanish EU Presidency, the Quartet for Peace in the Middle East was created. For Israel, Spain was the last Western country to establish diplomatic relations, thus closing the door to deligitimization of the Israeli state in Europe, while establishing relations with one of the "big five" of the EEC. Likewise, the ERDEI allowed both parties to successfully commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Jewish Expulsion in 1992, including the especially moving visit by His Majesty the King, accompanied by Israeli President Chaim Herzog, to the Beth Yaacov Synagogue in Madrid, where the President declared, "Sephardi is no longer a memory, but a home not for Jews, for the Hispanic Jews who do call this place home." Balance and Perspective. Spain and Israel have strengthened bilateral
relations in a revealing way over these has worked to developed friendly ties past twenty-five years. Today Israel and cooperation between both societies represents an important Spanish since 2007, while sharing the legacy of trading partner in the Middle East, the Sephardic people. and exchange in all spheres has grown The recent February visit of steadily. Numerous agreements on President Peres to Spain, presided by diverse issues have been Minister Trinidad Jimﾃｩnez's signed (cultural cooperation, trip to Israel, demonstrated tourism, science, air transport, Spain was the the will of both parties to agriculture, the environment), last Western celebrate this anniversary consistent with normalization country to by continuing to strengthen of relations between both establish relations between both societies. In recent years, diplomatic countries. In addition, during Spain has increase its relations with this time of change in the commitment to fighting Israel. Arab world, and with a firm anti-Semitism, as evidenced international commitment in including anti-Semitic violence as to quick implementation of the twoa crime within the Penal Code as of state solution, Spain offers itself fully 1995, as well as the establishing of the to the parties involved, willing to serve Day of Remembrance of the Holocaust as a mediator in the Arab-Israeli peace and of Prevention of Crimes Against process. During this past quarter Humanity. The February opening of century, Israelis and Spaniards have the new facilities of the Casa Sefarad- learned that the development of our Israel represents another important bilateral relations favors the cause event, inaugurated by Their Majesties for peace, which Albert Einstein the King and Queen and the President wisely described as "the greatest of all of Israel, Shimon Peres. This institution causes."
casa sefarad-israel, a center for public diplomacy On February 8, 2007, Casa SefaradIsrael was officially opened, with the attendance of the Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Miguel ﾃ］gel Moratinos, the President of the Autonomous Region of Madrid, Esperanza Aguirre, and the Mayor of Madrid, Alberto Ruﾃｭz-Gallardﾃｳn. This institution had been created two months prior as an institutional consortium with the objective of furthering the study of the Sephardic cultural legacy as an integral and living part of Spanish culture, promoting mutual understanding and encouraging friendly ties between both countries. Nearly five years later, Casa SefaradIsrael is now an essential part of our institutional network, and an exemplary tool for public diplomacy.
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A Commitment to Friendship Álvaro Iranzo
SPANISH AMBASSADOR TO ISRAEL
This year we celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the opening of diplomatic relations between Spain and Israel (ERDEI, in Spanish). The joint declaration signed in The Hague on January 17, 1986 put an end to an aberration: our failure to uphold the principle of universal relations between states, which had dragged on since Israel's entry into the comity of nations in 1948. This political stance reflected Spain's centuries of distance from the Jewish people, which began with the infamous expulsion in 1492. The Declaration on the ERDEI was an act of historical justice, recognizing "the ancient and profound ties that bind the Spanish people and the Jewish people." Having normalized relations between Spain and Israel, we found ourselves able to act more effectively within the Middle East. In this setting, Madrid was selected to host the 1991 Peace Conference, while Barcelona came to be the center for the EuroMediterranean diplomatic process. These past 25 years have seen Spanish efforts to fill the vacuum left by many long years of mutual disengagement. In recent years, this process has accelerated. The Spanish government officially recognized the Day of Remembrance of the Holocaust. Israel paid homage to the Spanish diplomats who saved the lives of Jews during the Second World War. Political contacts have developed, while encouraging mutual exchanges in academia, the arts, athletics,
tourism and business. The development of bilateral relations has not been without moments of mutual critique with regard to the positions adopted on the Israel-Palestine conflict, but the diversification and strengthening of contacts in all spheres characterize the present state of relations between these countries. We hope to prevent Spanish perceptions of Israel and Israeli perceptions of Spain from revolving strictly around the vicissitudes of the Arab-Israeli conflict. In 2006, Minister Miguel Ángel Moratinos proposed the creation of the Casa Sefarad-Israel, a center for public diplomacy dedicated to sharing Jewish culture, Sephardic legacy, and Spanish-Israeli friendship. The Spanish Network of Jewish Quarters has effectively contributed to the sharing of Jewish-Spanish cultural heritage. Both governments maintain fruitful political dialogue, while Spain upholds its tradition of offering assistance to all parties in finding a solution to the Arab-Israeli problem. Minister Moratinos made frequent trips to Israel, and President José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero made an official visit to Israel in October 2009. Shortly after her nomination, the current Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Trinidad Jiménez, expressed her desire to visit Israel, confirming the Middle East as a priority for her Ministry. Accompanied by a large delegation of businesspeople, Israeli President
This 25th Anniversary has provided us an opportunity to share with Israel a wide array of Spanish cultural and artistic creativity
Shimon Peres recently completed a successful state visit to Spain. Bilateral trade figures are balanced, reaching 850 million euros in both directions during 2010 (an 11% increase over 2009 figures). Meetings held during the visit of President Peres highlighted the interests of business leaders in developing joint projects featuring the innovation that characterizes the economy of the future, which both countries strive to achieve. Increased tourism is one of the best ways for Spaniards and Israelis to get to know one another better. Israel now has a Spanish cultural center. This 25th Anniversary has provided us an opportunity to share with Israel a wide array of Spanish cultural and artistic creativity, as with the recent concerts of Concha Buika and José Carreras, participation in various film festivals and the performances of the Víctor Ullate National Dance and Ballet Company. With funding from the Picasso Museum in Barcelona, the SEAC is preparing for a large exposition of paintings and drawings in Tel Aviv based on a theme of "Bullfighting," featuring works of the great 20th-century Spanish artist. The upcoming official visit to Israel of Their Royal Highnesses the Prince and Princess of Asturias will represent an excellent opportunity to renew our commitment to friendship based on our common interests and objectives, and above all our shared desire for a lasting peace throughout the region.
DISCOVER YOUR EMBASSY Since 2006, Spain has been improving its ties with Africa through its annual meeting, “Women for a Better World”. The sixth such event will take place in April 2011 in Windhoek, the capital of Namibia, and will be co-organized by both countries. The meeting, which is focused on gender equality, is a further example of Namibia's efforts to tackle all forms of inequality. These efforts, combined with political stability and good resource management, have enabled Africa's second-youngest country to transform itself into a middle-income country. by María Pilar Cuadra
Namibia, a privileged partner for Spain Namibia is a young country with a long history. It gained independence just 21 years ago, decades behind most other African countries and also dealing with the trauma of apartheid and a lengthy armed conflict. However, its enormous ethnic and cultural wealth is a reflection of a past that goes back thousands of years. Today, Namibia is a multi-ethnic nation with a multiparty political system and has reached a medium-level of development which can be seen in its relations with Spain. While the largest ethnic group, around half of the Namibian population, are the Ovambo people, the oldest without a doubt are the San or Bushmen, which various studies, such as that by Spencer Wells in “The Journey of Man”, consider to be one of the oldest ethnic groups existing today. The San were the first people to inhabit the area, and were the only ones there until 2000 years ago, when the Nama people and then other
groups such as the Himba and the Herero people arrived. The first Europeans to set foot in Namibia were the Portuguese, at the end of the 15th century, however Namibia's history is more closely linked with South Africa. In fact, in 1793 the Dutch authorities from Cape took control of Walvis Bay, to be annexed in 1878 to the Cape Colony, which by that time was British. The rest of the country became a German colony after 1884, but following the defeat of Kaiser Wilhelm II in the First World War, Namibia became a territory administered by South Africa under a League of Nations mandate. In practice, from that moment on it was governed as if it were another South African province, and the apartheid system was also implemented. In 1966, the United Nations General Assembly revoked South Africa's mandate, and that same year the South West Africa People's Organization
(SWAPO) began its armed struggle for independence. SWAPO would later be recognized by the General Assembly as the only legitimate representative of the Namibian people. After many years of negotiations and international diplomatic maneuvering, on 1 April 1989 the UN Transition Assistance Group (UNTAG) mission began. UNTAG was tasked with overseeing the end of the war and the holding of free elections, which would lead to independence, in a country that was completely lacking in any previous experience of democracy. Namibia finally became a country on March 21, 1990 and since then it has established itself as a stable country, with a representative democracy that accommodates all of its composite ethnic groups. It was on that same UNTAG mission that Spain took part in a peace-keeping operation for the first time, and so it can be said that relations between the two countries go back
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Namibia has significant natural resources in the world's oldest desert. It is thought that an arid climate has prevailed in the region for 55 million years, the harshness of which deterred the Portuguese, who were the first Europeans to land on its shores, from settling permanently.
to even before the official creation of the Namibian state. Furthermore, during the 1980s, the then president of SWAPO, Sam Nujamo, visited Spain on several occasions, in search of diplomatic support and meetings with leaders of Ibero-American countries. Political relations were strengthened in 2007 with the creation in the Spanish Congress of Deputies of the Parliamentary Group of Friendship with Namibia, and likewise with the creation of the Parliamentary Group of Friendship with Spain in the Namibian National Assembly. Investments and development cooperation from Spain have had a positive impact in Namibia and have encouraged the fostering of good relations. Since 1990, Spain has been the country that has traditionally invested most in Namibia, creating added value and jobs (especially important in a country where unemployment affects more than half
of the population) and promoting significant technology transfers. Today, Spain is, after the United Kingdom, Namibia's most important trading partner within the European Union. Spanish cooperation, for its part, has focused on high visibility projects in sectors with high social awareness, through grants to Namibian public institutions in strategic spheres for priority action. And although Namibia was a priority country in the second Master Plan for Spanish Development Cooperation between 2005 and 2008, in the third Master Plan, which spans 2009 to 2012, it is now considered a middle-income country, as a result of its political stability and its good economic performance in resource management. In rural development, Spain is supporting the process of agricultural reform being implemented by the Namibian government and, with
namibia System of governance: Republic of Namibia Area: 824,292 km2 (1.6 times larger than Spain) Population: 2,140,000 inhabitants (estimate) Population density: 2.58 inhabitants per km2 Urban population (%): 37 Life Expectancy: 61 years HDI ranking (2010): 105 GDP (million, provisional 2009 figures): 10.054 $ Inflation rate: 10,3% (2008) Main export partner: South Africa Main import partner: South Africa Main exports: Clothing and electronics Main exports: Precious stones, metals and minerals. Main imports: Fuel, vehicles and machinery. Resident Spanish citizens (09/2010): 361 Source: MAEC
THE RECOVERY OF LÜDERITZ
His Majesty the King Juan Carlos, alongside the President of Namibia, San Nujoma, during a SpanishNamibian business meeting held in Windhoek in February 1999. PHOTO EFE
regard to fishing, it is promoting sustainable development of resources through various training and research programs. Other sectors of the Namibian economy that receive support from Spanish development cooperation are, for example, tourism
A SPANIARD IN NAMIBIA Manuel Pascual Managing Director of Namib Roses
and health. In 2011, Spain and Namibia are also working together to organize, in Windhoek, the 6th Meeting of Women for a Better World; one of Spain's initiatives to fund a genderbased approach in Africa's economic development policies.
— Namib Roses finds a gap in the Namibian florist market. How was the project management? What were the biggest difficulties? What is your output and how many workers do you employ? — The fact that labor is cheap in Namibia made it easier to manage a project in which no specialization is necessary. The most difficult thing was coming up against several competitors and showing people that our product was better. The output of cut roses is close to 1 million units. In smaller quantities, of course, we also produce chrysanthemums and garden plants. We have a workforce of fifty workers and our turnover, last year, was over 5 million Namibian dollars. — Today, Namibia is an exclusive tourist destination. How do you see its future with regards to
tourism? We does it offer that its neighbors can't? — Tourism in Namibia is definitely not on a mass scale and so it probably won't be overly affected by the global economic crisis and should remain at a stable level. We will see to what extent the current problems affect the north of the continent. But Namibia will maintain is appeal of being a country that, when you travel through it, combines a very acceptable tourist infrastructure with a sensation of vastness, independence, peace and absolute tranquility. — How do you see SpanishNamibian relations, in particular the economic relations? In which other sectors can Spanish companies find a niche? — The Spanish, as with citizens of the European Union in general, are loved and respected and our
Lüderitz was the starting point for the German colonization of Namibia in 1884, but with the reduction in diamond extraction -the source of its initial splendorthe city entered a phase of decline. Nearby towns such as Kolmanskop and Elizabeth Bay became ghost towns, but Lüderitz avoided the same fate by a considerable margin thanks to an important Spanish fishing company that set up there in 1990, making fishing the region's main economic activity. As proof of its social responsibility, the company not only creates jobs but also offers university training to its employees, promotes AIDS prevention campaigns and funds a nursery for its workers' children.
cheerful and open nature sees this highly colorful society in a positive light. The majority interest of the Spanish in this country has been in fishing and Spanish companies in the sector have made some huge investments. The Spanish also play a prominent role in the hunting sector, another important resource for the country. But I can't see many other sectors with investment opportunities in Namibia - unless the investments were also to extend to other countries in the region – since the strictly local market is limited and it is difficult to compete with suppliers from South Africa. There will be opportunities, in the medium-term, in renewable energies and infrastructure investment. It would also be viable to try to identify local resources and consider possible imports to Spain.
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Namibia, a young country Alfonso Barnuevo
Spanish Ambassador to Namibia
Spain has stood alongside Namibia since its beginnings as a country, forming part of UNTAG (the United Nations operation entrusted with safeguarding the transition from colonialism and â€œapartheidâ€? to the holding of free elections) and sending an Air Force detachment. It was also the first peacekeeping operation that Spain took part in. In spite of the years that have passed, the Namibian people have not forgotten our support at a critical time, as well as the fact that during the 1990s we helped them to establish relations with IberoAmerican countries. On this foundation, a solid framework has been built over the years, supported by three fundamental pillars: a political relationship based on trust and mutual respect, the presence of Spanish companies in the fishing industry and a strong cooperation program. The international agenda in Namibia, whose approach is based on a positive evaluation of the UN's active involvement in the process that led Namibia to becoming a sovereign state, has more than enough similarities with Spanish foreign policy to be able to keep on building together. In particular with regard to active multilateralism, both in the United Nations and the African Union or the SADC; as well as a moderate, reconciliatory stance, which rejects violence as a solution to conflict, whether it be at a regional or international
level. These pillars enable dialogue to be free-flowing and assist understanding with Spain. Fishing plays an important role in bilateral relations. Investments made by Spanish companies have contributed to strengthening our relations on the basis of the Namibian perception that Spain helps to create wealth, added value and jobs. Spain buys almost 90% of the total catches of certain species (especially hake) which, after being packed in the ports of LĂźderitz or Walvis Bay, is ready for distribution to Spanish and European markets. The importance of Spain's presence is highlighted by the fact that the sector employs more than 10,000 sea and factory workers. Spanish companies have invested in the country with the mindset of staying; a long-term vision, creating mixed companies, implementing the latest technology and maintaining utmost respect for the sustainability of the Namibian fishing ground. They have made Walvis Bay into a mini-Wall Street of fishing with the capacity to keep on creating employment and increasing the added value of fishing production. Their presence since Namibia's independence is the greatest proof of the trust that Namibia inspires and of its image as a strong country, which conscious of its imbalances and making efforts to correct them, is moving in the right direction and is a benchmark for other African countries.
The importance of Spain's presence is highlighted by the fact that the fishing companies alone employ more than 10,000 workers.
The third pillar of our relations is development cooperation centered on sectors with high social awareness and visibility, which has also led to Namibians looking upon Spain as a loyal partner. Cooperation has increased over recent years and is appreciated because of its predictability and consistency. Spain, in addition to helping to train sailors by supporting the nautical school, it is cooperating with the research of the sea beds and their fishing grounds, and running aquaculture projects; a very important sector for the country both from the point of view of job creation (51% unemployment) and food security. An additional demonstration of our trust in Namibia and of the mutual desire to broaden our relations into new spheres is the holding of the 6th Meeting of Women for a Better World between Spain and Africa in Windhoek. Both countries are firmly convinced of the essential role of African women in consolidating countries' social and economic development and achieving the Millennium Development Goals Spain has stood beside Namibia throughout its twenty years of independence and has watched it mature as a country. Spanish companies opened a pathway by showing their trust in the future of Namibia. This pathway remains open for other companies, in sectors such as renewable energies or infrastructure.
Spain's Image The Real Instituto Elcano is carrying out a systematic appraisal of Spain's image abroad. The Permanent Observatory for the Image of Spain in the Foreign Press (Observatorio Permanente de la imagen de España en la prensa extranjera, OPIEX), which follows news about and references made regarding Spain in the international media, has been operating for three years.
Gustavo Suárez Pertierra President of the Real Instituto Elcano
“Once we have overcome the current difficulties, Spain will regain its previous international prestige and good standing” —The Real Instituto Elcano has just celebrated its tenth birthday. What are its objectives? — The RIE was founded as an international relations analysis center for Spanish interests. We analyze Spain's position on the international stage and the development of strategic tendencies with the aim of offering useful solutions to public and private institutions involved in foreign policy. At the same time we are hoping to raise awareness of global issues within Spanish society; something which has, in great part, been absent from our work to date. These are the objectives that define the Real Instituto. We belong to civil society, the meeting space between public and private, and we work in sectors concerning geo-politics and themes covering almost every area of activity of a mid-range global power like Spain. The strategic tendencies in such an inter-connected world demand that we keep our gaze fixed on all geo-political spaces and approach with a broad perspective the areas of influence and power which confirm the position of States in areas such as the international panorama, the economy, security, science and culture. I believe that in these ten years the Instituto Elcano has reached a position of maturity that allows us to face, with resolve and vigor, the analysis of largescale international crises, such as
the unrest in the Arab world and the construction of new analysis tools such as the Elcano Index of Global Presence (Índice Elcano de Presencia Global), which we will be presenting in the near future. — What role does Real Instituto Elcano play in the area of public diplomacy? — We understand public diplomacy to refer to the State policies of image and communication which serve to support foreign policy, strengthening objectives and strategies. These are ideally formulated in parallel with the latter, from take off rather than from the point of landing, to use the words of a North American classic. All activity in the sphere of public diplomacy ends with the act of communication because it aims to influence public opinion in other countries; but it is not simply communication as foreign policy strategy and the identification of messages and their audiences come first, and are perhaps of most importance. I believe that the RIE is the only Spanish institution carrying out a systematic appraisal of Spain's image abroad. We have carried out studies into Spain's image in Japan, China, United States and Latin America. The Permanent Observatory for the Image of Spain in the Foreign Press (Observatorio Permanente de la imagen de España en la prensa extranjera, OPIEX), which
follows the news about and references made to Spain in the international media, has been operating for three years. A working group composed of highlevel functionaries from government administration, academics, experts and industry representatives has been set up at the Institute to create reports and strategic documents on public diplomacy and nation branding. We will soon publish the most recent Informe Elcano on this subject, entitled Una estrategia de diplomacia pública para España (A Public Diplomacy Strategy for Spain). This report includes an analysis of the situation and an assessment of resources in public diplomacy. We have opted for one particular model out of a number of various possibilities, and are pursuing an action strategy regarding the objectives of our foreign policy. As a result of this strategy we will see the founding of an Observatory for Spanish Public Diplomacy (Observatorio de la Diplomacia Pública Española, ODIPE) in order to carry out a systematic analysis every four months of the nation branding and public diplomacy activity of public administrations, industry, NGOs, and so on. — How are relations between the Real Instituto Elcano and similar institutes? — Firstly I would like to point out that the RIE is part of a prestigious
international network of public, private and academic think tanks. Similarly, we currently have a good number of active agreements with centers in many other countries. It is very usual that our projects and activities, both in Spain and abroad, are carried out in collaboration with one or more similar centers. This is part of the Institute's nature. We consider it our obligation to contribute to the embedding of centers of thought and action into the social fabric; centers that work with public authorities on the institution of all nature of initiatives. Our work is the study of, debate and reflection upon
international relations, and within this sector the RIE promotes joint activity with other centers and bodies safe in the conviction that contemporary strategic relations cannot be breached without the involvement of many institutions working together, each bringing its own expertise to enrich the work of the others. For example, just a few months ago we approved a very ambitious project: the creation of a European-Latin American network that is currently comprised of forty centers on both sides of the Atlantic, seven of which are Spanish centers of renowned expertise.
— Could you tell us about Spain's image abroad, particularly at this time of economic crisis? — Spain's image abroad has consistently improved since its transition to democracy. Contributing factors have been accession to the European Union, the participation of our Armed Forces in foreign missions, the attractive nature of our culture and a whole host of other factors such as the great leap forward by our companies, which have become multinationals on par with those from North America, Britain and France. We are a global power, and when we ask people from any country of the world about our country, Spain's progress in such little time emerges as a central theme, though often alongside others such as the 'fiesta' or flamenco - associations which accompany and promote an evocative image for tourists. — What is your opinion on the role the West, in particular United States and the European Union, should play in the current uprisings throughout the Arab world? — Given the enormous expectations created by the movements that have come about, it makes sense that the West's reaction is considered to have been inadequate. However, we must remember that it is not easy to intervene in these countries without those actions being rejected by the local population. Furthermore, the war in Iraq has left a bad taste in the mouths of both the Arab world and public opinion in Europe and United States. In any case, I do not believe that the West's reaction to Tunisia and Egypt was poor: we quickly distanced ourselves from the existing authoritarian regimes and made clear our support for those in favor of a peaceful and ordered democratization. Perhaps more could have been done by those groups before the fall of the dictators, but we must remember that it was very difficult to predict the peak these uprisings have reached in recent months. In any case, the most ••• continues overleaf ➔
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Andorra no longer a tax haven for Spain important thing to do at this moment is to support the emerging forces and help these countries to improve their social and economic situations in order to consolidate the political reforms that have taken place. The situation in Libya, however, offers different kinds of problems, as demonstrated by the debate surrounding Western intervention. I believe that it would not have acceptable to stay on the sidelines because that would have meant that the international community would effectively have been supporting Qaddafi. Despite accusations of being unable to act effectively, the international community was able to reach an agreement. The allied intervention is taking place within the framework of the UN Security Council Resolution in order to stop the suffering of the Libyan people. This is multilateralism enshrined in law and it is for this reason that EU countries and United States have provided their legitimate support. As far as Spain is concerned, the vast majority of parliamentary groups have supported the Government's decision to take part in the allied intervention. Despite the strength offered by legal support for the decision, there are a number of weaknesses, such as the interaction between the military command and the political management and the various phases of the road map requiring clearer definition. We need an organization to unite the rebels, with the ability to act as a political negotiator. And it is necessary to safeguard the support of the Arab League, as it is to move carefully within the channels designated by the UN Resolution. However, it is absolutely certain that the defense of the population against the dictator's violent actions justifies and indeed demands the intervention of the international community, not to mention the need to stop any possible violent repression by the authoritarian regimes of other countries in the region.
This February the sealed agreement between Andorra and Spain came into force, allowing for the exchange between the two countries of the tax details pertaining to accounts under investigation. This agreement will also clear the way for Spain to lift taxation on Andorran exports. This step has come about as a result of the Spanish Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation's visit to Andorra at the beginning of January, in which she met with the country's top officials to discuss bilateral relations.
Spain expresses a desire to help with public works in Panama The Infrastructure Forum was held in Panama this February, under the auspices of the Ministry of Public Works and with the help of the ICEX and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation. The meeting brought the Panamanian authorities together with representatives from more than 100 Spanish companies eager to learn firsthand about business opportunities in the Central American country. Panama aims to invest 10 billion dollars in infrastructure by 2014.
The Chilean President visits Spain President of Chile, Sebastián Piñera, visited Spain at the beginning of March in order to strengthen the intense bilateral relations between our two countries. Spain is the second largest investor in Chile, with investment reaching 6 billion dollars in the last ten years in sectors such as electricity, gas, telecommunications and financial services. During his visit he presented the Fundación España-Chile, which aims to strengthen bilateral relations and that maintained by the Universidad de Salamanca through its role as one of the founding members of the Cátedra de Chile.
Trinidad Jiménez meets with the Arab ambassadors The event, organized by the Arab League, was held in recognition of Spain's tradition of maintaining regular contact with representatives of regional groups, cultivating good relations based on dialogue, cooperation and mutual trust. During the meeting the current situation in the Arab world, the Middle East peace process and the Union for the Mediterranean were discussed.
Pamplona hosts the XIII Spain-Japan Forum The Spain-Japan Forum offers a meeting point for official institutions and civil society from both countries, with the aim of strengthening the bilateral relations that the countries have enjoyed since 1997. This year's event was attended, among others, by the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, former President of the Generalitat de Catalunya, Jordi Pujol, and the President of the Fundación España-Japón, Josep Piqué. The debates focused on the economy, innovation and the environment.
Casa Mediterráneo analyzes Spanish relations with the Balkans On March 31, Casa Mediterráneo, the AECID, the Instituto General Gutiérrez Mellado and the Instituto Español de Estudios Estratégicos organized the conference ‘Spain and the Western Balkans: balance and perspectives’, in which actors from public-private initiatives, academics and experts on Spanish cooperation in the Western Balkans analized the role played by public diplomacy in the region and the future of relations between Spain and the Balkans. This event was organized following the closing of the Technical Office for Cooperation with the Balkans after 18 years of Spanish humanitarian work in the region.
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The Minister upon her arrival at the Cervantes Base with General Asarta. Right, press conference with the Secretary General of the Arab League, Amr Moussa, and the meeting with King Abdullah of Jordan. photos javier hernández and EFE
This March. The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation visited Egypt, Syria, Jordan and Lebanon to discuss bilateral relations and the situation in the region following recent events in the Maghreb.
Trinidad Jiménez visits the Middle East In mid-March, Trinidad Jiménez carried out a tour of the Middle East which took her to Egypt, Syria, Jordan and Lebanon. Her first stop was Egypt, where she met with the Secretary General of the Arab League, Amr Moussa, to learn first hand about the League's stance regarding the situation in Libya. Jiménez reiterated the support the Spanish Government was providing to the repatriation of thousands of Egyptian nationals who had found themselves stranded in Tunisia after having escaped from Libya. She also met with various Egyptian luminaries such as the Nobel Peace Prizewinner, Mohammed El Baradei, representatives of the January 25
Youth Coalition and dignitaries such as Prime Minister Sharaf, Foreign Minister El Araby and the Commander in Chief, Tantawi. With this visit Trinidad Jiménez became the first Western minister to meet with Prime Minister Sharaf since his appointment. At each of her meetings, the Minister took particular care to emphasize Spain's support for the democratic change experienced by the country and discussed the possible involvement of Spanish experts to help with electoral processes and constitutional reform. After Cairo, the Minister traveled to Damascus to meet with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and the Foreign Minister, Walid Moallem. The next stage of her tour took her to
Jordan, where she signed a Convention on the Fight against Organized Crime during a meeting with the Foreign Minister, Judeh. She later met with King Abdullah, the new Prime Minister Marouf al Bakhit and the President of the Senate, Masri. The final stop for the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation was Lebanon, where she arrived on March 16. The Minister's schedule in Beirut began with a meeting with the country's President, Michel Suleiman. She later met with Prime Minister Elect, Najib Miqati, and former Prime Minister, Fouad Siniora. In each of these meetings, Trinidad Jiménez stressed Spain's interest in both the stability of Lebanon and the Middle East peace process. On her final day, the Minister visited the Miguel de Cervantes military base, which is currently housing the Spanish troops deployed as part of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), involving 29 countries, under the command of General Alberto Asarta. During her visit to Marjayoun the Minister inspected the troops and learned about the day-to-day experiences of more than 1,000 Spanish soldiers who have been involved in the mission for almost five years.
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Casa Mediterráneo broadens ties with Algeria Casa Mediterráneo has detailed plans to strengthen ties with Algeria as part of its 2011 strategic plan. The plan provided the motivation for the organization of the Civil Bilateral Algeria Forum, and in September a socio-economic meeting will be held to discuss issues regarding water management, renewable energy and climate change. The Israeli President, Their Majesties The King and Queen of Spain, the Mayor of Madrid, the VicePresident of the Comunidad de Madrid and the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation during the inauguration ceremony. Photo CSI
The King and Queen open the new headquarters of the Casa Sefarad-Israel On February 22, the new Casa Sefarad - Israel was officially inaugurated in Madrid by Their Majesties the King and Queen of Spain and the Israeli President Shimon Peres, during his visit to Spain. The event was attended, among others, by the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Trinidad Jiménez, and the Mayor of Madrid, Alberto Ruíz Gallardón. The new center is housed in the historic Palacio de Cañete provided by the Ayuntamiento de Madrid.
In January, Casa SefaradIsrael also signed a Convention of Collaboration with the Junta de Andalucía, the Diputación de Jaén and the Ayuntamiento de Jaén, which will lead to the opening of a center in the Andalucian city. Casa Sefarad-Israel is a public consortium created to foster friendly relations between Spain, Israel and Jewish communities the world over using the social, political, economic, scientific and cultural fields.
Zapatero's official visit to Tunisia, Qatar and the Arab Emirates Between February 27 and March 1, the Prime Minister visited Tunisia where he met with Mohamed Ghanuchi, leader of the Provisional Government, along with representatives of the opposition and the reform movement, making Zapatero the first European head of government to visit the country after the recent uprisings. According to the Prime Minister, the main aim of the visit was
to “listen to how the process of change is progressing and provide support to that process". In Doha, Zapatero held high-level meetings to negotiate various bilateral agreements. He later visited the United Arab Emirates (Abu Dhabi and Dubai), where he met the authorities from the two countries and visited the Gulf Food Fair, which this year was dedicated to Spain.
Meeting with the Commissioner for EU Enlargement, Stefan Fülle In March, the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation met the European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighborhood Policy, Stefan Fülle. During the meeting Trinidad Jiménez reiterated the need for an integrated strategy to accompany and strengthen the processes of democratic transition that the Maghreb is currently experiencing.
The exhibition 'Hidalgos and Samurais’ travels to Japan ’Hidalgos and Samurais: the 400th Anniversary of the brief encounter between the Japanese and Spanish empires (1609-1614)’, is the name of the exhibition which recounts the historic relations between Japan and Spain in the 16th and 17th Centuries. In 2010, the exhibition traveled to the cities of Tokyo, Kyoto, Onjuku and Otaki, where it met with great success, and will continue its tour of the country this year.
Spain to lead a Program in the fight against drugs The Minister for Health, Social Policy and Equality, Leire Pajín, presided over the Madrid launch of the Cooperative Project between Latin America and the EU on Drug Policy aimed at strengthening the exchange of experiences between the EU and Latin America with policies on drugs, and for which the Commission has provided 6 million euros.
‘El jardín andalusí’ Exhibition arrives in Saudi Arabia At the beginning of the year, the National Museum in Riyadh hosted the exhibition ‘El jardín andalusí’ (The Andalusian Garden) in collaboration with the Spanish Embassy in Saudi Arabia. The exhibition belongs to Madrid's Fundación de Cultura Islámica and has already traveled to many countries in North Africa and the Middle East, where it was given a warm reception.
The King visits St. Petersburg to mark the beginning of the Spanish-Russian Year On February 25 St.Petersburg hosted the inauguration of the Dual SpanishRussian Year aimed at improving relations and mutual interaction. The King and Queen attended a business meeting and the inauguration of the exhibition 'Masterpieces from the Prado Museum' at the Hermitage Museum, alongside President Medvedev. In June, Zapatero will travel to St. Petersburg and in the autumn, both President Medvedev and Prime Minister Putin will come to Madrid for the closing ceremony.
Navantia to design a submarine for Australia The Spanish publicly-owned company Navantia is working on designs for the construction of a new large-scale S-80 submarine, in the hope that it will be selected by the Australian Navy. German and French publicly-owned companies will also take part in the bidding. The winning company will not be named until 2015 or 2016.
Spain, committed to renewable energy On March 9, Spain deposited the ratification tool for the statutes of the International Renewable Energy Agency, as the Agency's 56th Member State. The Agency was created two years ago to work on the global development of renewable energy sources.
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The result of the merger between SEACEX, SEEI and SECC. The new state corporation will be in charge of promoting culture in Spain and abroad.
Acción Cultural Española is founded to promote Spain abroad With a new name and renewed objectives, the Acción Cultural Española (AC/E) - the state corporation responsible for promoting and raising awareness about Spanish culture, both within our borders and beyond - has been founded. It has come about through the merger of the state corporations for cultural celebrations (SECC), foreign cultural activities (SEACEX) and international exhibitions (SEEI), which were eliminated to reduce public expenditure. The new organization's President, Charo Otegui, recently laid out the objectives and courses of action of the corporation, which has planned 65 activities for 2011. Essentially, the AC/E's objectives are: to promote and spread knowledge about Spain's diverse cultural panorama here and abroad; to articulate the projects of the various autonomous communities and cultural institutions throughout the national territory, and to promote projects
which involve creators, scientists and cultural and creative industries abroad, following the geographical guidelines of the Plan for Cultural Action Abroad (Plan de Acción Cultural en el Exterior, PACE). With a budget of 30 million euros for 2012, Acción Cultural Española wishes to modify the concept of an institution charged with organizing large-scale events and promoting individuals, artists and events worthy of such treatment. With this in mind, in 2012 the AC/E will hold the Bicentenary of the Cádiz Constitution in order to “demonstrate the success of the liberal Constitution", and in 2013 it will be celebrating the 500th anniversary of the discovery of Florida by Juan Ponce de León. In regard to large-scale temporary exhibitions, the AC/E will be managing Spain's involvement in the Yeosu 2012 International Exposition and the World Horticultural Exposition Floriade 2012 (Netherlands), with pavillions at both events.
Trinidad Jiménez visits Israel and the Palestinian territories In February the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation paid a visit to Israel in which she had the opportunity to meet both with President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as well as other dignitaries. Trinidad Jiménez held meetings with key NGOs working in the region and also had the opportunity to view the Spanish reconstruction of Palestinian
homes during her visit to the city of Hebron. She also visited a school and workshop financed by Spain's voluntary sector, as well as the city's Medina. The Minister also met with the President of the Palestinian National Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, and Prime Minister Fayyad, to whom she reiterated Spain's commitment to peace in the region.
foreign action in brief
The world's largest bank opens an office in Spain In January the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), the world's largest bank in terms of market capitalization, opened an office in Madrid. The aim of the financial body's arrival in Madrid is to provide services to the some 150,000 Chinese citizens resident in Spain, though it also hopes to attract Spanish customers. The bank aims to promote Chinese investment in Spain and to aid the rise in Spanish exports, an area which has seen sizeable growth in recent years. The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation during her meeting with the UN Secretary General.
Trinidad Jiménez visits the US This January, the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation visited the United States, where she met with the Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki Moon. During the meeting in New York, Trinidad Jiménez discussed the key issues affecting international peace and security and reiterated Spain's commitment to multilateralism as a means of confronting the challenges facing the international community. The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation also met with the personal envoy for Western Sahara, Christopher Ross, and the UN Women Executive Director, Michelle Bachelet. In Washington, Trinidad Jiménez met with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, to whom she made clear Spain's support for the US Administration's commitment to close the prison in Guantanamo Bay. The Minister also visited the Organization of American States, where she met with its Secretary General, José Miguel Insulza. During their meeting they signed the Joint Operational Plan between Spain and the OAS, to which our country is the third largest net contributor after the US and Canada.
Grupo Sanjose to construct 100,000 homes in Mozambique The Galician construction company Grupo Sanjose has been chosen to build more than 100,000 homes in Mozambique. It will also be responsible for the implementation of important infrastructure projects in the African country over an area of 93 miles. This significant commercial agreement originated with the State visit to Spain by the President of Mozambique, Armando Emilio Guebuza, last November.
The Government takes part in the Official Day of Remembrance of the Holocaust The Official Day of Remembrance of the Holocaust and the Prevention of Crimes Against Humanity was marked by the Spanish Government once again this year with a concert by Shlomo Mintz at the Auditorio Nacional on January 27. The event was presided over by the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation and attended by the President of the Federation of Jewish Communities in Spain and the Vice-President of the National Council of the Gypsy People, among others.
The Cervantes Institute looks back over Spanish - Greek relations At the end of March, the recently-opened Cervantes Institute in Athens held an exhibition entitled 'Un mar de Leyes', which looked back over cultural and diplomatic relations between Spain and Greece during the 14th and 15th Centuries. The exhibition, opened by H.M. The Queen Sofia, was organized with the support of the Spanish Embassy in Athens.
Casa Asia holds an international conference on Asian tourism In February, Barcelona's Caixaforum held the second edition of the International Conference on Asian Tourism with the aim of strengthening European tourism from Asian countries. The increasing prosperity of countries such as India and China make this continent an excellent market for Spanish and European tourist options.
Trinidad Jiménez meets with her Russian counterpart In mid-January the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation met with her Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, in Moscow to discuss bilateral relations between Russia and Spain. On the way back from her visit, Trinidad Jiménez visited the Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp (Germany), where she revealed a plaque commemorating the 190 Spanish nationals imprisoned there.
Iberdrola and Gamesa involved in the world's largest wind farm Iberdrola Renovables has begun construction in Romania of the Mihai Viteazu 80 megawatt wind farm, for which Gamesa is providing the wind turbines. This installation is the first phase of the Dobrogea Wind Complex, the world's most significant renewable energy project to date.
Una red de cultura, una red para el desarrollo
Humanitarian emergency. Hundreds of thousands of people affected by the armed conflict in Libya have crossed the Tunisian border, transforming the area into an enormous refugee camp. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, through the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation, was one of the first to respond to the call from the UN Refugee Agency and the governments involved.
Refugees in the refugee camp set up by UNHCR near the Ras al-Jedir border in Tunisia photo efe
The Libyan crisis, a humanitarian priority for Spain The wave of revolutions that have taken place over recent months in the Mediterranean has turned especially bloody in Libya, where the precarious situation has driven hundreds and thousands of people to cross the borders with Tunisia and Egypt. In response to ACNUR's call, Spain was quick to send an initial air shipment containing over 30 tons of essential supplies (sheets, tents, ground sheets, cooking kits and water storage barrels), which have reached over 10,000 refugees. Subsequently, and following a request from the Tunisian and Egyptian governments, a plane was chartered from Madrid that helped to reduce the migratory pressure on the borders, evacuating citizens from different countries. As a result, Spain organized, together with ACNUR and the International Organization for Migration, an airlift that made 19 flights transporting more than 3,000 Egyptian citizens from the Tunisian island of
The Director of the AECID, Francisco Moza, visits the Choucha refugee camp on the Tunisian-Libyan border. Lower image, a shipment of humanitarian aid. photo miguel lizana.
Djerba to Cairo. Now the humanitarian operation has been increased with the transportation of Ghanaian citizens back to their home country. Similarly, Spain
is also responding, through the AECID, to a new call to transfer Bangladeshi citizens, around 13,000 of whom still remain on the Tunisian-Libyan border. In its first flight from Madrid, this plane transported 5 additional tons of humanitarian equipment, including 300 kilos of precision surgical instruments and drugs that were delivered by road to the Red Crescent and the insurgent local committee in Benghazi, after travelling the more than 1000 kilometers that separate the Egyptian capital from the Libyan city. The Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation is in a permanent state of alert; ready to again head off a potential mass exodus over the border, and the AECID has also provided 500,000 euros for ACNUR to help the people escaping Libya via the Egyptian border, as well as 300,000 euros for the International Committee of the Red Cross and 250,000 for the Spanish Red Cross. ď Ž Virginia Castrejana
Casa África announces its Essay Awards Casa África has announced the Casa África 2010 Awards for Essays on African Subjects. With these awards it aims to recognize, encourage and publicize original and unpublished essays that contribute to increasing knowledge of Spanish-African relations in two different areas: culture as an instigator of development in Africa and environmental sustainability and development in Africa. The essays can be submitted in four languages (Spanish, English, French and Portuguese) until 22 April.
The AECID celebrates World Water Day For the purpose of World Water Day, which is held on March 22, the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation organized several activities, which included a special showing of the film 'También la Lluvia' (Even the Rain) and a roundtable discussion at Casa de América in Madrid. In the upper photograph, the Secretary of State for International Cooperation, Soraya Rodríguez, is accompanied by the leader of the Cochabamba Water Wars of 2000, Oscar Olivera, on which the film is based, and by Jorge Drexler, the Ambassador of the Spanish Cooperation Fund for Water and Sanitation in Latin America.
Second Edition of the Documentary Film Festival on Gender Soria was the headquarters of the 2nd International Documentary Film Festival on Gender, organized by the NGO Women of the World with the support of the AECID, as a platform for showing documentaries that promote processes of recognition of cultural rights, encouraging equal opportunities for men and women. In this second edition, 251 films were screened from 51 countries, reasserting the festival's contribution to raising awareness of the hidden realities for women in different communities.
Cultural affairs abroad Over 1600 stories were entered in Twitteratura; a literature and social network competition organized by the Cultural Center of Spain in Córdoba (Argentina), and the Ibero-American cultural platform, Hipermédula. The competition is part of a larger project and a reflection on the potential of these new forms of literature that have arisen as a result of interaction between the creators, turning the reader-writer relationship on its head. In 12 hours, 2200 tweets were sent in from countries across the Americas, including the United States.
Valladolid to host the World Microcredit Summit On March 7 in Washington, the Secretary of State for International Cooperation, Soraya Rodríguez, took part in presenting the World Microcredit Report, which goes over the progress made for this type of economy by the development initiatives that emerged several decades ago. Joined by representatives from the US State Department and managers of the World Microcredit Campaign, Soraya Rodríguez took the opportunity to announce the next summit that will be held in Valladolid between November 14 and 17 this year. The summit will bring together more than 2,000 delegates, from over 100 countries to talk about the prospects of microcredit. The Microcredit Summit to be held in Spain will be chaired by Queen Sofía and Nobel Peace Prize winner, Muhammad Yunus.
Spain, headquarters of the European Forum on Rural Development At the end of March, Palencia hosted the 3rd European Forum on Rural Development, organized by the European Commission, the Government of Spain and the Global Donor Platform for Rural Development. The aim was to exchange and analyze approaches and good practices to promote rural development projects that will enable food insecurity and hunger to be tackled. In 2009, Spain allocated 10% of ODA to food security programs. The forum was inaugurated by Ramón Jáuregui, Minister of the Presidency; Soraya Rodríguez, Secretary of State for Cooperation; the Mayor of Palencia; and the Minister for Agriculture and Livestock of the Regional Government of Castilla y León.
Humanitarian Aid. The Council of Ministers has approved the PACI 2011, under the Fund for the Promotion of Development Act.
Annual International Cooperation Plan 2011 approved The Council of Ministers has approved the Annual International Cooperation Plan 2011, which is continuing to make progress in implementing the objectives and programs set out in the 2009-2012 Master Plan for Spanish Cooperation. It is the first plan that has been passed under the new Fund for the Promotion of Development Act, which has introduced a notable change: for the first time the Plan is being submitted to the Council of Ministers after being passed by the Commissions of the Congress of Deputies and the Senate. Priorities. The priorities of PACI 2011 include the fight against hunger through the right to food and rural development; the fight against climate change in a key year for the preparations of the Summit of Rio+20 in 2012, and the fight to obtain necessary resources, with a particular emphasis on the drive to introduce a tax on international financial transactions and the mobilization of domestic resources as key aspects for funding sustainable human development in the future. At the same time, it is maintaining its efforts in social policies and equality in
basic social sectors and gender equality. Budget constraint. The 2011 Plan, which was drawn up with the consensus of the main Spanish cooperation actors, is being presented at a time of international economic and financial crisis that is putting a strain worldwide on the availability of traditional resources for development aid. The budget constrain means a reduction in the amount of Official Development Assistance compared with the previous year, with an impact on all of the Public Administration departments: the General State Administration, the Autonomous Communities and local bodies. The forecast for 2011 is to reach 0.4% of Gross Domestic Product, with a net total of 4,233.71 million euros of Official Development Assistance. Therefore, the target of 0.7% will not be reached by 2012. They do restate, nevertheless, the goal of reaching it by 2015, in accordance with the European Union target and the message that development and its desired effect -the eradication of poverty- continues to be a fundamental political commitment.
The AECID takes part in the Education Fair Under the slogan “Education builds citizenship”, the AECID took part in the International Fair for Students and Education held in Madrid, to provide information on actions by Spanish cooperation related to Education for Development. The comic, “The Millennium Development Goals”
designed by Pedro Cifuentes was handed out at the stand and the 3rd Edition of the National Education for Development Award “Vicente Ferrer” was presented to teachers, as well as the Good Practices book detailing the 15 experiences that won an award in last year's competition.
‘Iglesia y Convento de San Francisco’ book launch In the Ecuadorian capital, the Ecuadorian and Spanish authorities launched the book ‘Iglesia y Convento de San Francisco: una historia para el Futuro’ (Saint Francis Church and Convent: a History for the Future) The work was published by the National Institute for Cultural Heritage, the AECID and San Andrés School-Workshop. The project, which began in 1983, involved the training of technical personnel in heritage restoration and conservation, architectural restoration and the setting up of the Religious Art Museum, “Fray Pedro Gocial”.
Meeting on municipalism, in Albacete “We have to build municipalism with a gender perspective, because it is the only was to guarantee development sustainability”, said the Director of the AECID, Francisco Moza, in the opening speech at the last Meeting on Municipalism held in Albacete, with the slogan, "Building government, promoting equality and development".
Work begins on the Spanish Water Fund project in Bolivia As part of the 'Water and Sewerage in Peri-Urban Areas of Bolivia' project, funded with 56.5 million euros from the Spanish Cooperation Fund for Water and Sewerage in Latin America, March 25 saw the beginning of the works to increase access to drinking water and sewage for 300,000 people in the Andrés Ibáñez district in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, one of the poorest in the country. The inauguration of the project was attended by the President of Bolivia, Evo Morales, the Spanish Ambassador, Ramón Santos and the director of the AECID, Francisco Moza.
ccooperation 41 Information campaign. For its centenary celebration of International Women's Day on March 8, development cooperation paid tribute to all the people working in different parts of the world to achieve equality.
Image of one of the campaign events, held in Madrid. photo aecid.
Gender justice, a driver for equality We know some of the names of people who have changed the history of human rights: Huda Shaarawi, Rigoberta Mench... Inspiring women who wouldn't have been able to do what they did without the help of many others, whose names we don't know and to whom we are in debt for the progress they made. For this reason, Spanish Cooperation is providing spaces to recognize the tireless work of women and men in the fight for equality in all spheres. The "Your Voice Counts" campaign in an initiative born of the need of various organizations to speak
wOmen's day at the network of cultural centers of the aecid. The Network of Cultural Centers has added to its programming with some very different perspectives
out about the rights of women and give a voice to those who can't be heard. In the second edition of the campaign, this time held to celebrate March 8, the chosen slogan, ‘Your Voice Counts. Justice is with Women’ tries to highlight, through different voices, the achievements and challenges in achieving gender justice in the world and the mechanisms for eliminating inequality between women and men in all aspects of life. Over these days, and with the aim of giving a voice to women in the Southern Hemisphere who
on women, inviting reflection about the role they play in culture and society and in different cultural settings. It features an ambitious exhibition program including shows such as 'Words and Thinking of Indigenous Women on the Bicentenary of Independence and the Centenary of the Mexican
work with development cooperation organizations, Alibi Chefia, from the Tunisian Association of Democratic Women; Indira Mendoza, from the Las Cattrachas Lesbian Group in Honduras; Aura Dalia Caicedo, from the Kambirí National Women's Network in Colombia; Chilean jurist Paula Salvo del Canto; and Atika Ettaif, from the Moroccan Human Rights Association took part in various events and created a commercial that spread very successfully across social networks (http://vimeo. com/20474455). Some of the activities organized to raise awareness included roundtable discussions, book launches, talks, seasons of short films by women about women, and a lip dub; an improvised choreography in the center of Madrid in which over 100 people took part. Participating in the ‘Your Voice Counts’ campaign, in addition to the AECID, were international organizations such as UN Women, and various cooperation actors for Spanish development: the Coordinating Committee of the NGO for Development, ACSURLas Segovias, AIETI, ACCNE, Entrepueblos, ICID, IEPALA, PBI, Solidaridad Internacional and other NGOs included in Plataforma 2015 y más (Platform 2015 and more), and Red ACTIVAS (ACTIVAS Network). Virginia Castrejana
Revolution', and 'Respira' (Breathe), at the Cultural Center of Spain in Mexico; and others such as the exhibition by Guinean painter Sofía Dougan, or the Las Américas (Uruguay) exhibition at the cultural centers in Malabo and Montevideo. The Cultural Center of Spain in Guatemala is screening the Latin
American Directors season and the History of Women season will be screened in San Salvador. The Cultural Centers of Chile, Managua, Bata, Lima, Tegucigalpa and Santo Domingo, are also including roundtable discussions, cinema, poetry and other art forms dedicated to women in their programming.
culture and society
He wrote poems, stories, a novel, plays, and dialogues for film, but in the end he felt more comfortable and did his better work in journalism. Cold and cutting when attacking his adversaries, his pen mellowed when he evoked the world before the revolution. by Jacobo García
WRITERS AS DIPLOMATS (Part 6)
Agustín de Foxá Some drops of nostalgia on a blue background LA legend in his day in the salons of Madrid and to a certain extent an underappreciated writer, the troubles of Agustín, Count of Foxá (1906-1959) arose when he saw himself out of context, as if he were living an era that was not his own. However, from afar, it seems as if the reverse were true: circumstances favored him shamelessly, giving him and his friends the unique opportunity to exploit the gold mine of the civil war through literature. He was born with everything working in his favor: firstborn to the Counts of Foxá
and the Marquis of Armendáriz, rich, educated, well-equipped for literary work and even more so for social relations... But somewhere in his mind resided the misconception that everything had been better in the past: this was his grand mistake and his main disadvantage. Possessed with an active imagination and the great ability to transform the ideas he wanted to convey into beautiful imagery, Foxá the writer was also capable of creating credible arguments. As a poet, he did not have a good ear, especially when struggling with the last line of
each stanza. And in both respects he abused imagery, affectation, and romantic themes. In an epoch such as his, when Spaniards devoted themselves to crushing each other, his poetic fantasies sounded implausible, as reality was eclipsing fiction everywhere. Only when he emptied out onto paper all of the unrest that the war had caused him did he do his best work as a writer. That first essay on a dream of a new series of national stories became Madrid, de Corte a checa (1938) which did not continue into the field of the novel,
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From Left to Right. Agustín de Foxá, in 1955, speaking before the Foreign Minister Alberto Martín Artajo and the Ambassador of the Philippines in Spain, Manuel Nieto. Foxá (second from the left), with Luis Rosales, Leopoldo Panero and Antonio Zubiarre, during a reception given by the Minister Plenipoteniary of Spain in Bogotá, José María Alfaro. Agustín de Foxá, in a photo from 1939, inside the fortress at Figueras, talking with General García Valiño. Next to this caption, a portrait of Agustín de Foxá from 1958. PHOTOS EFE
which could have offered him richer literary rewards. But his nearly thirty years as a columnist give some idea of the importance he had, with his gifts as a prose writer, in the elevation of literary journalism initiated by Larra and brought to its apex by the Generation of 98. His good qualities were hampered by the indulgence represented by being hypersensitive: clinging to the world he had known as a child and rejecting the changing, confusing, and contradictory era in which he had to live. It was said that Foxá made the most of literary nostalgia, and that is true: but it was his nostalgia and not that of the reader. To make us believe that it was ours he needed to have read more closely Valle-Inclán and less Amado Nervo. And in any case, his capacity to exploit nostalgia was not like that of Marcel Proust: his has a tender touch that Foxá missed out on, and, let’s face it,
neither had Foxá’s world been anything like that of Guermantes. Whoever wants to maintain the image of him as an insensitive reactionary dressed up in a Fascist uniform would do well to read the pages devoted to him in Curzio Malaparte’s Diary of a Foreigner in Paris, where he recounted the flawless conduct of his friend. He was at that time the chargé d’affaires in Helsinki to deal with a group of eighteen young Spanish Communists, stationed in the Soviet Army, who had been taken prisoners by the Finns. The essential goodness of the person does not have much in common with the opinions—which also do not seem to arrive at the richness of the character: the Agustín de Foxá who was a brilliant improviser, a magnificent speaker, a marvelous conversationalist, a guest capable of turning the most routine meeting into a celebration of the imagination, a diplomat incapable of compiling a report but irreplaceable when it came time to make connections and create what we call today social networks... The wealth of anecdotes that he generated in his life have remained in part without being collected, which is a shame—although it must be a relief for the relatives who were the object of the snide
remarks and the repartee that nailed him left and right like darts of fire, despite later being repented. The day when the political prejudices that marginalize the literary universe disappear, the impartial study of his life and work will be one of the first exercises of cultural hygiene that will have to be done to understand an era in which almost everyone was a victim of circumstance. If, in the last stanza of his poem To Those Born After And in the future when no longer/ Do human beings still treat themselves as animals,/Look back on us with indulgence.) Bertolt Brecht was asking leniency for his party colleagues, invoking the exceptional circumstances in which they lived, why would that same petition not be extended to those on the other side, starting with the members of the literary court of José Antonio? Recommended reading: > Agustín de Foxá: Complete Works. Madrid, Prensa Española, 1963-1976, 3 volumes. > Curzio Malaparte: Diary of a Foreigner in Paris (written in 1947). Barcelona, Plaza & Janés, 1966. > Sagrera y Martínez-Villasante, Luis: Agustín de Foxá: an approach to his life and work. Burgos, Dossoles, 2009.
Located in the heart of Toledo’s Jewish Quarter is “La Sinagoga del Tránsito” or “Synagogue of Samuel Ha-Levi,” one of the best preserved in Spain, together with Cordoba’s synagogue and Santa Maria La Blanca, also in Toledo. The city’s Sephardic Museum is located inside the Synagogue, containing more than 1400 items related to Jewish culture, from its origins to its growth, its establishment in Spain and the Sephardic culture that evolved, even after the expulsion of the Jews from our country in 1492 and their Diaspora all over the world. The Sephardic Museum of Toledo is one of the jewels in the chain of Spain’s Government State Museums that will be featured in the magazine, “Miradas al exterior.” by Miradas al exterior
Toledo’s Sephardic Museum The National Museum of HispanicJewish and Sephardic Art was born in 1964 as the result of years of work by the Marquis de la Vega-Inclán, one of the founders of cultural tourism in Spanish. In his role as head of the Royal Commission on Tourism, he carried out the restoration of a number of historic buildings, including La Sinagoga del Tránsito. The museum was established inside La Sinagoga del Tránsito “because
there is no more venerable setting than this to strengthen the secular ties that connect Sephardic Jews to the Sepharad,” as the Founding Decree stated in State Bulletin 0, published in 1964. The facility has been remodeled significantly a number of times, the most ambitious project taking place in 1964, when the facility was adapted to the needs of a museum at the same time as archeological excavation was carried
A MUSEUM IN CONSTANT RENOVATION The Sephardic Museum of Toledo was expanded, thanks to the purchase of two adjoining buildings that greatly enhanced potential display space. The Museum is currently working on becoming a pioneer of State installations by offering self-guided tours to the viewing public. The Museum’s ongoing commitment to excellence has been recognized by a variety of awards, including an award from the Royal Foundation of Toledo in 1996, its nomination as European Museum of the Year by the European organization EMYA in 1996, the Museum as Living Culture award (Premio Museo Cultura Viva) in 1997, and the Samuel Toledano Award in 2009.
culture and society 45
out and the plasterwork and artisanry were restored. The goal of the new staging, inspired by King Juan Carlos I, was to show the most complete vision possible of the historical and geographic conditions in which the traditions of the Jewish people developed within the context of the Spanish nation, from their arrival in the Roman era to their expulsion in the Middle Ages.
The National Museum of Hispanic-Jewish and Sephardic Art was born in 1964 as the result of years of work by the Marquis de la Vega-Inclán, one of the founders of cultural tourism in Spanish. PHOTOS SEPHARDIC MUSEUM
The Building: The installation comprises several rooms that display historical, religious, and local customs of the Sephardic Jewish past in Spain. The visitor can view the historical, geographic, and cultural context of the origins of the Jewish people in the Middle East. Displays include archeological objects dating from 2000 B.C to the First Century, as well as a wide variety of exhibits pertaining to the meaning of Jewish identity, beliefs and customs. Testaments to the material culture of the Jewish presence in Spain are also displayed: from their arrival on the Iberian Peninsula, their life during the Roman and Visigoth eras, their cultural development in Andalusia, coexistence during the Christian reigns from the thirteenth to the fifteenth centuries, forced conversions to Christianity, the Inquisition, and finally, the Expulsion in 1492. The building that houses the Museum is in itself a synthesis of the three cultures Christian, Arab and Jewish, and an example of the traditional assimilation of local architecture by the Jewish community. Its structure is simple and conforms to the basic requirements of Jewish spiritual life, the alcove in the sacred wall, the temple, and the women’s section. The Great Hall of Prayer is a relevant example of Toledan Mudejar architecture; it has a rectangular plan framed in wood with remains of polychromous decoration, its walls are decorated by plasterwork with landscape motifs, scrolls and spirals, and inscriptions in Arabic and Hebrew. In one of the patios, as a kind of “cementery,” Jewish gravestones
are displayed that have been recovered from other ancient Jewish quarters. In another of the patios, there are possible archeological remains from public baths of Toledo’s ancient Jewish Quarter, and the temple floor of the synagogue. Another room is dedicated to the women. As in other cultures, traditional Judaism did not permit women to participate in services in the Great Hall of Prayer. The room conserves part of the original plasterwork decorations and includes several glass cases that display details of everyday Sephardic life. Remains of decorated plasterwork with Hebrew inscriptions from David’s Psalms are displayed around the room. History of the Synagogue: The synagogue’s founding was due to the efforts of Samuel Levi and to the special privileges from King Pedro I of Castile, grateful for the support given to him by the Toledan Jews during the fratricidal
Baruj Garzón Serfaty Rabbi, President of the Maimonides Institute of Jewish Studies.
A Visit to the Sephardic Museum
His Majesty King Juan Carlos signs in the Book of Honor of the Sephardic Museum in the Sinagoga del Tránsito, flanked by the Minister of Culture, Carmen Alborch, and the President of the Regional Commission of Castilla-La Mancha, Jose Bono, in the inauguration of the new facilities in 1994.PHOTOS EFE
battles with the Trastámara, in the middle of the fourteenth century. Levi had carried out various functions as magistrate, diplomat and royal treasurer in the Court of Pedro I of Castile. The synagogue is on the southeastern border of Toledo, right in the Jewish Quarter,
The group of teenagers has just entered the Synagogue, the most beautiful section of the Museum. Their ebullient adolescent voices become silent. Their looks, some curious, some absorbed, run over the handiwork of the Mudejar builders, fruits, flowers, and heraldic motifs, but most of all, they focus on the historical and Biblical Hebrew inscriptions that their minds cannot decipher. Neither can the teacher who is accompanying them. Out of nowhere, an Israeli tourist stops in front of one of the inscriptions and reads and translates out loud: ““Reú micdas aser hicdis beYisrael, vehabáyit aser baná Semuel…Admire the sanctuary that was consecrated in Israel and the building that Samuel constructed.” The students pepper the tourist with dozens of questions.
and was part of a complex built by the royal magistrate and extended to part of what is now the site occupied by the El Greco Museum. With the expulsion of the Jews in 1492, the Catholic Kings awarded to the Order of Calatrava the “main
Their pens fly rapidly over their notebooks, taking down the knowledgeable answers. The group, now led by the Israeli tourist, and watched by thirty centuries of Jewish history, goes through Rooms I, II, and III and the North Patio. They discover Judaism as a way of life, the central role that it played in their daily lives, their origins in the Middle East, the Bible and its values. Step by step, the teenagers travel through centuries of history populated by Jews and their neighbors in the Sepharad of Old: Visigoths, Romans, Muslims, and Christians, conquerors and returning conquerors, until the fateful events of 1492. But, fortunately, the history of this “stiff-necked people” did not end there. Deeply invested in survival, the Jews survive in the Sephardic Diaspora, celebrating their joys and
families, sharing their wisdom in books that they never stop reading or writing, and above all, speaking and singing in their sweet JewishSpanish language (Ladino), the only treasure that no one could prevent them from taking with them. The group is already in the Women’s Section. The guide continues explaining the prodigious adventure of the Jewish people, and some students, surprised, wonder if these are the same Jews that they have heard about … . Thanks to the Sephardic Museum for fighting deeply-rooted beliefs, for enabling the next generations to grow up free of prejudice and, above all, for existing, as a just homage to those who never forget their Old Sepharad and look now, full of hope, to the Spain of the new generations.
C synagogue that the Jews had in Toledo in exchange for the Alcazar and the Galiana Palaces with their Church of Santa Fe, possessions of this Order.” Two years later the building ceased to be a synagogue, and became part of the Priory of San Benito, the area that had been a rabbinical school and the Women’s Section serving as a hospital and asylum for Calatravan knights. The old prayer sanctuary became a Christian temple and the burial place of various Calatravan knights, appearing in documents as the Church of San Benito. With the passage of time by the Sixteenth Century these functions had been abandoned and the building was used exclusively as a church, constructing an entryway to the sacristy and an arcosolium dedicated to worship of the Virgin Mary. Later, a tableau was placed in the main body of the former Great Hall of Prayer on the old floor of the synagogue. The former Women’s
Santiago Palomero Director of the Sephardic Museum of Toledo.
100 years is nothing: 1911-2011
Section was enclosed and became living quarters and a wooden choir was built on the West side. In the seventeenth century, the Church of San Benito began to be known commonly as the Church of Tránsito because a Calatravan knight commissioned the artist Juan Correa de Vivar of the School of Toledo to do a canvas of The Assumption of the Virgin (today preserved in the Prado National Museum), which was placed in the arcosolium. At the same time, the Archives of the Military Orders of Calatrava and Alcantar were attached to the North Wall, where today Rooms I, II and III of the Sephardic Museum are located. In the eighteenth century, the decline in the authority of the Military Orders also affected the previously wealthy Church of Our Lady of the Assumption, which appears in documents simply as a monastery. A drawing by Palomares shows the appearance of the old synagogue with its original façade and the balconies, bell tower, and the dwelling
One hundred years ago, a visionary, the Marquis de la Vega Inclán, was the founder of cultural tourism in Spain. It was no coincidence that the City of Toledo was chosen for his experiment, because a group of intellectuals in the style of Urabayen, Cossio, Zuloaga or Azorin had weaved literary plots, and later other literary intrigues, such as those of the Mexican Alfonso Reyes or the young Americo Castro, made the City shine as the “Age of Silver” of Spanish culture. In this postNineties environment, the Marquis, patron and art buyer in the Spain of King Alfonso, began to form the first museums in Spain based on local culture with the creation of the Museum and Home of El Greco in Toledo, the Home of Cervantes in Valladolid and the Museum of the Romantics in Madrid. He also formulated the idea of the Royal Commission on Tourism, the
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of the chaplain of the monastery. The poor state of the archives and the necessity for reforms were documented during the entire century. During the Napoleonic Wars, it was used as military barracks, the facility continually deteriorating during the entire nineteenth century, continuing to be a monastery until it was unendowed. On the 1st of May of 1877 it was declared a National Monument. Restoration took place to improve the poor state of the building. It was thanks to the work of the Marquis de la Vega Inclán, a patron and art collector of the Spain of Alfonoso XII and the driving force behind the first museums based on culture and location, and innovative projects, such as the chain of historic Inns (Paradores), that we can now enjoy the architectural jewel that is the Sinagoga del Tránsito and all the history that its walls contain, which the contemporary visitor can now better comprehend due to the Sephardic Museum.
precursor of the current Ministry, and was head of the Commission between 1911 and 1928. He also was the driving force behind the chain of historic Inns and Hotels such as the Alfonso 12th of Seville and finally, rehabilitated to new standards historic buildings such as Sinagoga del Tránsito in Toledo and the Center of Hebraic-Spanish Culture, the precursor of the current Sephardic Museum of Toledo. He chose the architect Eladio Laredo to supervise, at the beginning of the twentieth century, the restoration of the buildings of the Jewish Quarter that now make up the National Museums of the Ministry of Culture of Toledo. In 1910-11, the El Greco Museum was opened to the public, and one hundred years later, it will reopen, completely renovated. In 1913, their Majesties inaugurated the opening of the restored Sinagoga del Tránsito.
Granada with the Alhambra, Seville with the rehabilitation of the Barrio de Santa Cruz and the Jewish quarters of Toledo are now the bulwarks of Spain’s new face towards the world. One hundred years later, the new Digital Portals of the Ministry of Culture, in collaboration with the Ministry of Industry, Tourism, and Commerce, are responsible for the success of Spain’s cultural outreach to the world, with the goal of converting Spain into one of the most visited tourist destinations in the world. This is the history that will be told this Jewish year of 5171 (20102011 of the Christian Era) from the Jewish Quarter of Toledo. The tango that Carlos Gardel popularized with the title “To Return” will come true: “To dream that life is a sigh, that one-hundred years are nothing.”
Spanish business abroad
At the end of 1960, when Jesús de Polanco and Francisco “Pancho” Pérez González, founded the publishing house Santillana, and three years later, when Polanco traveled to Chile and Argentina with a suitcase full of books, few in the world of publishing could guess that this small book company would become the publisher Grupo Santillana. Midway through the seventies, Santillana expanded its activity to the field of general publishing, and their catalog held works of literary creation for all ages (children, youth, and adults), as well as nonfiction, reference and philosophy. This new publishing line received a major boost with the contribution that resulted in the incorporation of three prestigious publishers (Taurus, in 1974; Alfaguara, in 1980, and Aguilar, in 1986) and later with the development of their own projects, such as Ediciones Altea (1973) and Richmond Publishing (1992). The current Taurus catalog is comprised of authors like Max Weber, E. M. Cioran,
In addition to being one of the sites of greatest historic and artistic value in Spain and a focus of tourism in Cantabria, Santillana del Mar gave its name to the publishing group founded fifty years ago by two men with Cantabrian roots — Jesús de Polanco and Francisco Pérez González — whose activity in work and life has served to create and fortify an inestimable cultural bridge between Spain and Latin America. by Miradas al exterior
Santillana, a fifty-year publishing adventure
C Joseph Stiglitz and Fernando Savater. with the Universidad de Alicante, the And Alfaguara — a publishing house Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona founded in 1964 by Jorge and Camilo and the Universidad Carlos III de José Cela — has, to name a few, Nobel Madrid. The IUP integrates an Prize Winners José Saramago and educational experience and specialized Mario Vargas Llosa, as well as Mario knowledge in an environment of Benedetti and Javier Marías. postgraduate training with In 1998, Santillana created the advantages offered the Premio Alfaguara de Santillana by new information Novela, whose first winners maintains technologies: participation, were the writers Eliseo constant a practical focus, and Alberto and Sergio Ramírez. colaboration with content topicality. Since then, Manuel Vicent, the Royal Spanish Moreover, Santillana Tomás Eloy Martínez, Academy of Formación offers various Laura Restrepo and Andrés Language Master’s level seminars in Neuman, among others, the areas of communication have won the prize. The and culture. Colombian writer Juan Gabriel In 2000, Grupo Santillana founded Vásquez is the latest winner of the Punto de Lectura, an imprint that Premio Alfaguara, which is already centers its activity on paperbacks and going into its 14th year. has achieved considerable market Also in 1998 Grupo Santillana penetration in the Americas. Finally, decided to invest in, for the first time, in 2004, the general publishing sector adult education through the Internet. invested in Suma, an imprint oriented That project came to fruition with toward commercial literature with the creation of Santillana Formación titles that move within the genre and the Instituto Universitario de novel. Starting in March of that same Posgrado (IUP), in collaboration with year, Grupo Santillana became part
Spanish business abroad 49
of PRISA, the first media group in the Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking markets, and a leader in education, information, and entertainment. Although its roots are clearly Spanish, Grupo Santillana is currently has a presence in practically all Spanish-speaking countries as well as Portugal, the United Kingdom, Brazil, and the United States. Its presence in Brazil was consolidated in 2001 with the purchase of all shares of Editora Moderna, a publisher founded in 1968 which specializes in educational books. In addition to Editora Moderna, Grupo Santillana also acquired the publisher Salamandra, dedicated to literature for children and young adults. To complement its developmental activities in the educational sphere, Grupo Santillana has recently acquired seventy-five percent of another Brazilian company, Editora Objetiva, a publisher in the sector of general editions known for the quality and selection of their catalog. In addition to their collections of fiction, essays, and children’s literature, Objetiva edits the Houaiss Dictionary of the Portuguese Language, the greatest and most complete dictionary of the language. At the same time, the Instituto
Spanish business abroad SANTILLANA FIGURES FOR 2009 617 million euros Santillana Formación 1% Santillana USA 1% Other income 1% Educational publications 61%
The Prince and Princess of Asturias, with the president of Santillana, Emiliano Martínez and the president of Prisa, Ignacio Polanco, at the anniversary ceremony celebrated in January. photo prisa.
Universitario de Posgrado has branches in fifteen Latin American countries. A very important aspect in the work of Grupo Santillana is its continuing collaboration with the Royal Spanish Academy of Language (RAE). Thus, the imprint of Santillana includes some of the lexicographical works produced by the RAE and the Association of Spanish Language Academies, such as the most recent Dictionary of Spanish and the Dictionary of Americanisms. Today, Grupo Santillana consists of a group of companies which carry out their activity in the linguistic area of Spanish and Portuguese and continue to carry forth the original intention of its founders to contribute a spirit of innovation and improvement in the development of textbooks and to provide teachers with publications that assist in their teaching. Their logistics includes a storage area of 22,000 square meters and the distribution of almost thirty million books a year in Spain. Fifty years after its creation, Grupo Santillana continues to contribute to
the education and training that are the most effective ways to develop a people and construct societies that are free, fair and supportive; to foster culture and favoring innovative cultural creation, through promoting incentives for development and channels for distribution; to advocate the values shared by democratic societies and in particular those related to pluralism, tolerance, the preservation of peace and the protection of the environment; to strengthen the links that for centuries have united Europe and Latin America; to publish quality works for education; and to act with professionalism and autonomy. In short, throughout its fifty years of history, Grupo Santillana has been able to consolidate its specialization in educational publishing, expanding beyond Spain, with special attention on Latin America, where Santillana is the leader in the sector of books used for teaching. To celebrate, it has published a special edition of the José Saramago novel The Elephant’s Journey, designed by Manuel Estrada.
General publications 25%
RANKING OF COPIES SOLD BY COUNTRY IN 2009 Total sales: 117,260,893 copies osition P 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th
Country Brazil Mexico Spain Chile Peru
N copies 38,355,223 21,684,388 16,609,177 7,848,135 6,946,181
RANKING OF NEW TITLES PUBLISHED BY COUNTRY IN 2009 Total sales: 6.125 titles osition P 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th
County Spain Mexico Brazil Argentina Puerto Rico
N titles 2,585 1,470 494 456 223
RANKING TITLES IN PRINT CATALOGED BY COUNTRY IN 2009 Total sales: 30.438 titles osition P 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th
Country Spain Mexico Brazil Argentina Chile
N titles 12,571 7,920 2,442 2,058 948
Spanish business abroad 51
On our 50th anniversary Emiliano Martínez Rodríguez President of Santillana
Here at Santillana, we have just celebrated 50 years of publishing. This long journey has led us to be one of the major global brands in the Spanish- and Portuguesespeaking world, by operating as local and national publishers producing and maintaining active catalogues in each of the 21 countries in which we work. Santillana is a leader in educational publishing in Latin America and Spain. It develops literary publishing through its Alfaguara brand; books of essays and thought through Taurus; bestsellers through Suma de Letras; paperbacks, through Punto de Lectura; books for children and teens through Alfaguara and Altea; Aguilar is now focused on general knowledge and current events, País-Aguilar on tourism and gastronomy; and it has recently added Richmond Publishing to its main education line, which develops English teaching material from its offices in London and Miami, under the Santillana brand. This model of branches supported by one common corporate tree trunk not only operates globally, but is also replicated in various local settings. The fact that we have produced a large number of publications, over 6000 in the last year, and maintain 31,000 titles in the catalogue, is a result of all of our national companies contributing their energy and creative spirit. How did such an organization come about, capable of operating across differing realities, and doing so by combining sound business practices with cultural
and educational values that give meaning to its work? Above all, through the vision and efforts of the then young entrepreneur, Jesús de Polanco, who had the ambition to add a Latin American dimension to his project. In the seventies, he was already working with subsidiaries in the Southern Cone of America. To this vision, he added rigorous management and extraordinary integration capabilities. Integration of people, primarily, starting with his partner since the early days, Pancho Pérez González, who was ultimately very important to the expansion that would be achieved. De Polanco was also able to integrate ideas and new business models. After consolidating the core business activity – education publishing, which began with publications for the literacy and education of adults in Spain, Argentina, and Chile—, other specialties began to develop. From Altea’s books for teens, which had notable success in co-editions with editors in other languages, to the incorporation of Taurus, the brilliant publisher of books on thought directed by Jesús Aguirre, or the exclusive Alfaguara of Jaime Salinas, an excellent model of literary publishing. Later, Aguilar, the flagship of outstanding Latin American branding and implementation across the Atlantic, was incorporated. The passage of time brought to the Latin American environment greater openness, greater appreciation for education,
Today Santillana is a business reality relevant to the creative industries sector, thanks to its economic indicators and global reach.
greater access to culture, and on furthermore, the significant contribution of new technologies. All this facilitated our expansion across practically every country in the area, including those furthest from historical centers of publishing. And with a competitive model, we could complete our presence in Ibero-America in Brazil, the Latin American giant, and in Portugal, the two poles of the other language area of peninsular origin. Today, Santillana is a business reality relevant to the creative industries sector. Thanks of course to its economic indicators, with revenues close to 650 million Euros and net profits greater than 50 million. Thanks to its reputation in the publishing world: over 120 million copies sold last year, working with 43,000 clients and a diversified production across hundreds of providers, in and out of the area. But above all, thanks to its cultural effects: -—we work with 2,500 authors who entrust us with their work—and educational effects—we develop curricula for 21 countries, from preschool to university entrance, with quality, innovation, and support for the work and continual education of educators, regularly visiting 235,000 schools—. This of course makes it a highly decentralized organization, employing over 4,000 personnel of 24 nationalities, of which almost a quarter are engaged in content development, with a lively intercommunication dynamic.
culture and society
1986 was the first year the Spanish Academy of Cinematic Art and Sciences began recognizing achievements in domestic cinema. Today, the Goya’s have become the most important award for professionals in the Spanish film industry. por Elena Gil Puchau
Goya Awards Turn 25 negre). The latter took the Goya in that category, and ended up the evening’s big, if unlikely, winner. Its 9 awards included nods for directing, acting and technical aspects. In all, 113 features and 85 shorts from Spain were competing for spots on the nominee list. Without a doubt, Spanish film is alive and well, at home and abroad.
The famous Spanish film prize has hit the quarter-century mark, and what better way to celebrate than with a full gala set in the Teatro Real, complete with Hollywood-style red carpet and renowned guests like Javier Bardem, Spain’s most international movie-star. A first at this year’s anniversary edition was the presence of three languages in the full-length nominees for “best picture:” Spanish in “The Last Circus” (Balada triste de trompeta), English in “Buried” and Catalonian in “Black Bread” (Pa
A brief history. March 17, 1987 marked the first Goya Awards ceremony. Today, it is the biggest event in the Spanish film industry. There, the Spanish Academy of Cinematic Art and Sciences presented awards recognizing the merits of the past year’s strongest productions. The first edition was held in Madrid’s Teatro Lope de Vega, with Fernando Rey as master of ceremonies, and Their Majesties the King and Queen were in attendance. Fernando Fernán Gómez was the star of the show for all intents and purpose, taking home the Goya’s for best film, director and screenplay for his “Voyage to Nowhere” (El viaje a ninguna parte), and best actor for “Mambru se fue a la guerra” (Mambru Went to War). Initially, there was plenty of dissention within the Academy over what to name the award. Some members opposed the idea of naming
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25 years of prize-winners separate these two images, beginning on a March day in 1987 and ending in a group shot of the 2011 winners. PHOTOS efe
the award after Goya, despite his international renown as a painter and influence on Spanish culture. The argument was settled by Ramiro Gomez, who said the Aragon-born artist’s notion of painting was in fact cinematic, pointing to the almost sequential nature of many of his works. In 2000, the Goyas traveled to Barcelona, though Madrid is the usual host each year. Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero came in 2005, the first time a Head of State has attended the event.
Prestige and box office. For its recipients, a Goya is synonymous with prestige and a high level of regard which usually translates into ticket sales. However, there have been exceptions. The stand-out this year
was “Black Bread.” In this case, before nominations were announced, the Catalonian production was showing on 75 screens, running for 14 weeks and had earned just 830,000 Euros. A week after its nomination for 14 awards was announced, earnings were up 17%. Upon winning nine Goyas, the movie showed up on 109 screens, and in its 19th week, boxoffice receipts had fully doubled over the film’s pre-nomination numbers. “Even the Rain” is another film for which being nominated had a similar effect on turn-out. Though this isn’t always the case, as “Buried,” “Biutiful” and “The Last Circus” hardly saw any change at all as a result of their nominations.
The Most Acclaimed. Goya Awards are piling up in the home of Alejandro
the battle between drama and comedy. In a study about Spanish film made by Media Search & Consultancy for the Film Academy, revealed that while the industry prefers the dramatic genre, movie-goers like a good comedy. From 2001 through 2010, 420 dramatic films were released, with earnings of 279,154,552 Euros. In that time, the 289 comedic titles soared to 332,791,929 Euros. The most-watched movie in that period was ‘The others’, by Alejando Amenábar. Also among the most popular films were ‘The Sea Inside’ and ‘Agora’, from the same director, sharing the top spots with comedies such as ‘Torrente 2. Mission in Marbella’ and ‘Mortadelo & Filemon: The Big Adventure’.
Amenábar. The winner of 11 prizes in categories such as Best Picture, Best Director, Best New Director, Best Original Screenplay and Best Original Musical, the film-maker has built up a private collection of awards from the Academy. Over their 25 years, the Goyas have praised efforts in other branches of the film industry. They have recognized composer Alberto Iglesias with nine awards, including his latest Goya for the soundtrack of “Even the Rain.” Also, special effects man Reyes Abades has received nine awards, recently along with Ferrán Piquer for their work on “The Last Circus.”
International impact. Over the course of 25 years, the Goya’s have made a long journey to achieve the international fame they enjoy today. This year’s show coincided with the BAFTA Awards, presented by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, and Javier Bardem was expected to appear at both. In the end, his only award was the Goya in the Best Actor category for “Biutiful.” The Goya Awards show an international-mindedness by recognizing films that are made elsewhere in Europe and in Latin America. This year, the awards in these categories went to “The King’s Speech,” and “The Life of Fish,” respectively. Few are considered prophets in their own land. However, our film industry can boast titles such as Alejandro Amenábar’s “The Sea Inside,” winner of the Best Picture Goya with nods from the Oscars and Golden Globes as well. “All About My Mother” was a similar success, garnering Almodóvar acclaim from the Goyas, Oscars, Golden Globes, BAFTA and the Cesars, France’s award for film.
culture and society
Human relationships. Vicente Verdu, writer and journalist, coined the term “personism” to define inter-personal relationships as “partial sampling without deep commitment.” In his opinion, personism, along with the disappearance of high culture, is the first major revolution of the 21st century. As he states in one of his books, “person by person, individual by individual, people everywhere are buying into the illusion of a better world where, through one-off contacts, they can experience the ever-growing enjoyment of a common culture.”
Vicente Verdú writer
“One problem that has remained unresolved for far too long is the abolition of work as penance.” — In a personist society, what is the biggest change or changes in contemporary man’s relationship with the new forms of work? — In the new personist society, the service sector takes up an increasing share (92%), and all of the jobs offered in that sector prefer flexible individuals, especially in the United States. Instead of specialists, they want workers who adapt to a variety of functions simultaneously or over time. The American labor market has coined the term “free agency,” to define the ideal potential employee. They don’t have deep roots in the community, they are single or have movable partners, they don’t have kids in school in town, they don’t have a skill linked to any certain specialty, and as a result of this, they can work in almost any place and at any job. But, lastly, empathy has become a commodity, because in the service sector, you’re dealing with people directly, and it’s important to treat them in a personal, convincing, reliable and customized manner.
— 20 years ago, the idea spread that man would rid himself of work, and that machines would do it for him. Today, we live surrounded by machines, but workdays are also getting longer, and man doesn’t seem to have shed that burden. Where did the calculations go wrong? Will we ever achieve total freedom from work? — The calculations that promised more free time were made around the sixties and early seventies, before the energy crisis, at a time when prosperity was related to a high growth rate in productivity. The technological transformation and innovation that followed the Second World War enabled products to be made in massive quantities and at low prices This situation led to the belief that that trend would grow in the future, and that machines, evermore efficient, would reduce the time people needed to work. The energy crisis, along with the rise in raw material prices, put an end to that trend, and the high inequality in
wealth unleashed by neoliberalism, still growing today, exaggerated the difference between a very well-off elite and an enormous false middleclass subject to decreasing pay, and forced to work more hours. — How can a society live with 20% unemployment? What is your opinion on how this affects citizens who are still employed? — He can coexist, without a doubt, thanks to family support, in countries like ours with a nurturing culture, and to a certain extent, from social benefits. In those times of insecurity, people with jobs can’t help but to feel that their job is
profile. Vicente Verdu was born in Elche in 1942. A writer and journalist, he earned a Ph.D. in social sciences from the University of the Sorbonne, and is a member of the Nieman Foundation at Harvard University. He writes regularly for El País, where he has also held posts as the Culture and Opinion Editor. His books include: Noviazgo y matrimonio en la burgesía española, El fútbol, mitos, ritos y símbolos; El éxito y el fracaso; Nuevos amores, nuevas familias; China supersatar, Emociones y Señoras y señores (Espasa Essay Prize). With Anagrama, which released
his first book, Si usted no hace regalos le asesinarán, in 1971, he has also published the short-story collections Héroes y vecinos, and Cuentos de matrimonios, and the essays Días sin fumar (finalist for the 1988 Anagrama Essay Prize) and El planeta americano, which earned him the Anagrama Essay Prize in 1996. Other publications include La vida en el capitalismo de ficción (Anagrama, 2003), and Yo y tú, objetos de lujo (Debate, 2005). His latest books are No Ficción (Anagrama, 2008), Passé Composé (Alfaguara, 2008) and El capitalismo funeral (Anagrama, 2009).
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in danger, and dismissal perhaps imminent, and as a result their demands are less or diminished. The worker unions are silent, they submit to the will of power or stifle themselves for fear of making things worse by their actions, either with strikes or uprisings. — Does this society have a clearly defined ideology for the citizen’s relationship with the work force? What would that be? — I’m not sure I understand the question. All I can think of in response is, though it’s no time to be asking for special treatment, one problem that has remained unresolved for far too long is the need to abolish this idea of work as penance. Work takes up so much of our daily lives that it amounts to a form of torture. Enjoying work is parallel to having fun learning. The days ruled by opinions based on the Christian theology of suffering, calling classes “disciplines” and considering work a tripalium - an instrument of torture - are gone. And if not yet in practice, they should definitively be left out of any designs for a new plan for humanity — How should we view this new trend of working part of the week from home, that some companies like Microsoft are instituting among their executives? — It is possible not to divide work and play, in fact most artists approach their work like that. This situation where we are all artists - would be the worker’s utopia for our time. It would carry on the manifestos that were ahead of their time a hundred years ago. Another completely different take is that the company is becoming the all-consuming force in our lives, relentlessly exerting control over ourselves and our families, like in the kolkhozes of the old Soviet Union, where there would be love-making, murders and work all going on within the same space.
culture and society
Exhibit at the Cervantes Institute. Jointly organized with Doctors without Borders and the newspaper El País, the show displays pictures taken by Juan Carlos Tomasi, and texts by eight famous Spanish-language authors.
“Testigos del olvido” Preserves the Memory of Eight Crises
20 Years of the Cervantes Institute. The 77 Cervantes Institute sites will host more than 6,500 activities this year.
The Cervantes Institute Presents its Cultural Action Plan for 2011 The Cervantes Institute, which celebrates its 20 year anniversary in 2011, presented its 2011 Cultural Action Plan in February. The Plan brings together the more than 6,500 activities to be carried out at the 77 Cervantes sites, located in 44 countries across five
continents. The Institute’s Director, Carmen Caffarel, highlighted in the presentation that in its two decades, the Cervantes Institute has become Spain’s most highly prized institution with a presence abroad. It has also become “a home to
Through May 15, the Cervantes Institute will run “Testigos del olvido” (Witnesses of the Forgotten), an exhibit jointly organized by Doctors without Borders and the newspaper El País. The exhibition presents a look at eight global humanitarian crises, narrated by some of the greatest Spanish-language authors, and photographed by Juan Carlos Tomasi. “Witnesses of the Forgotten” puts a human face on the suffering, ongoing violence and media neglect felt in the
every Latin American creative mind.” Caffarel also laid out the seven lines of strategic cultural action for this year: attracting new audiences (primarily among the youth), dialogues between civilizations, gender policies, Spain today, the Independence Bicentennials in Latin America, global memory and global awareness. The plans for 2011 maintain the objectives of promoting Spanish language and culture, promoting awareness about Latin American and Spanish artists, scientists and industries worldwide, as well as women’s roles in culture and science. The figures from 2010 included 6,200 activities, with more than 3,000 representations of art and culture.
c Democratic Republic of the Congo, Haiti, Yemen, Kashmir, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Guatemala, Colombia and Zimbabwe, eight of the worst crises our world faces. The exposition is the product of travels made by the authors to these countries, first published by El País Weekly from 2009 through 2010. The narrations, by Mario Vargas Llosa, Sergio Ramirez, Laura Restrepo, Juan Jose Millas, John Carlin, Laura Esquivel, Manuel Vicent and Leila Guerrero, harmonize with the work of photo journalist Juan Carlos Tomasi as the common denominator throughout the exhibition. The authors took a literary and journalistic approach
to creating their chronicles of events, while keeping the spotlight centered on the victims of each crisis. Tomasi, a regular collaborator with Doctors without Borders, selected 169 images that portray the horrific scenes as a statement against ignorance and indifference. The Cervantes Institute is running this exhibition in order to “bring light to the marginalization, barbarism, violence and injustice these areas experience,” in the words of Carmen Caffarel. The exhibition will then travel to Beijing, Bordeaux and Rome. After that, it will tour some of the other Cervantes Institutes located in 44 countries.
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From left to right. Picture of a Rohingya woman in the water at the Cox’s Bazaar fish market in Bangladesh, begging for fish remains to feed her son (Bangladesh and Malaysia, September 2009). Photo of a Haitian family, where women and girls suffer from widespread discrimination and violence (Haiti, March 2009). Male chauvinism has become a problem after the Civil War of the 90’s. Juan, pictured, spent his whole week’s pay at the bar. He has three children (Guatemala, November, 2009). During its term, the United Nations Stabilization Mission carried out military operations to dismantle armed groups operating in the urban centers. In the photo, two members from opposing groups are pictured fighting (Haiti, March 2009). photos juan carlos tomasi
OHL Strengthens Presence in Middle East with Help of Kuwait
Exhibit in Madrid
The OHL Group has signed its first contract in Kuwait to build an urban viaduct, worth 645 million Euros. The contract represents an excellent opportunity, since the country is a big investor in infrastructure. OHL maintains a solid presence the Middle East, and is currently building one of the world’s largest, most advanced hospitals in Qatar.
Casa Árabe Displays Arabic Calligraphy
La Casa Encendida (Bright House) Receives the 2011 iRedes Award The Casa Encendida, a social project by Caja Madrid, has received the 2011 iRedes Award for its work in social networking, reporting more than 36,000 Facebook users, and 7,000 Twitter followers. The Latin American Social Networks Congress, creator of the award, also presented awards to Cuban blogger Yoani Sanchez and Argentine writer Hernán Casciari.
Casa Árabe Debuts its Arabic Webpage This version of the webpage provides information on the major events organized by the institution, as well as access to items such as its schedule, publications, Language Center and Casa Árabe TV, and more.
Casa Árabe presented an exhibit on Arabic calligraphy under the title “Freedom and innovation”. The show highlighted contemporary Arabic calligraphy through the work of five current Arabic calligraphy artists known internationally for the quality of their artistic creations: Hassan Massoudy, Munir al-Shaarani, Rima Farah, Jalid alSaai and Nja Mahdaoui. The works were commissioned by Jose Miguel Puerta Vichez, a professor at the University of Granada.
culture and society
Worldwide Tourism Dollars. The World Tourism Organization’s annual report shows that our country still has the second highest income from tourism worldwide, with 53 million visitors in 2010.
Spain Becomes World’s 4th Most Popular Destination Worldwide tourism rose by 6.7% in 2010 over the past year, and in the process recovered levels from 2008. These were the conclusions of the annual report by the Spainheadquartered World Tourism Organization. It showed the number of travelers in 2010 rose to 935 million. The report placed Spain as the fourth most popular tourist destination worldwide, with 53 million visitors. This represents a drop from the third spot worldwide, which was taken over by China. The top destinations continue to be France and the United States. Still, Spain remained the second highest earner overall of tourism dollars. As to the number of Spanish tourists, 2010 saw a decline of 9% in terms of travel abroad. This boosted travel within the country, led by Andalusia as the number one destination. The events unfolding in the
Maghreb indicate that forecasts for 2011 will be optimistic, as Spain could pick up part of those tourists who canceled their travel plans to North Africa. The positive outlook for national tourism could also be seen during FITUR, the International Tourism Trade Fair, now in its 31st edition. This meeting point for businesses, the most important worldwide, received over 200,000 visitors and more than 10,400 companies from 166 countries. Companies that skipped the last two editions returned, underscoring the recovery of the tourism industry. While FITUR went on, the second edition of INVESTOUR, the Forum for Tourism Investment in Africa, was held, in which Africa House played a key role. This event brought together twenty Tourism Ministers from African nations with the goal of promoting the continent’s tourism industry as an engine for socioeconomic development.
Sacyr Wins Important Contract in Angola Sacyr Vallehermoso, through Somague, has been awarded an 85 million euro contract for a housing development in Luanda. The company has operations on five continents, and with this contract its work portfolio surpasses 300 million Euros in Angola and Cape Verde.
Spain Arts&Culture 2011 Program To Include Over 100 Events. The Spain-USA Foundation, under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation and the Ministry of Culture, is planning over 100 activities in 2011, touring through major U.S. cities. A variety of events representing each artistic discipline will expose U.S. audiences to the most innovative aspects of Spain's arts scene.
Spanish Fashion Shows Off Its New Creations In late February, Cibeles Madrid Fashion Week was held in Madrid, the biggest showcase for Spanish fashion in recent years. This edition featured a total of 45 designers presenting their world of creations.
The ‘Hespérides’ Completes its Exploration of the Indian Ocean
Her Majesty the Queen poses with the World Cup, which Spain won in 2010, at the official inauguration of FITUR held in Madrid. PHOTOS efe
After a month of navigating over 9,000 kilometers, the research ship Hesperides has completed Spain’s first scientific exploration campaign in the Indian Ocean. Over 3,000 samples were processed, including water, marine organisms and elements ranging from the surface to a depth of 4,000 meters.
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San Salvador: 2011 IberoAmerican Capital of Culture In the year of Central American Independence Bicentennials, the city of San Salvador will be the IberoAmerican Cultural Capital this year, succeeding Mexico City. In 2012, it will pass the torch to Cadiz, as part of the events commemorating the 2nd Centennial of the Constitution of 1812.
Iberdrola To Invest 365 million in México The Spanish multi-national will set in motion two projects in Mexico, involving a $365 million investment in a wind power park and a cogeneration power plant. One of the world’s largest companies in its industry with operations in 40 countries, Iberdrola thus confirmed its expansion plans, centered in Mexico, Brazil and Eastern Europe this year.
Javier Arguello, 2nd Palau i Fabre Essay Prize “La música del mundo” (The World's Music) by Javier Arguello is the winning work in the 2nd Palau i Fabre International Essay Prize contest, sponsored by the Palau Foundation and the Gutenberg Galaxy / Círculo de Lectores (Readers’ Circle). The judges praised it as an outstanding essay focusing on the changes faced by the narrative imagination over the course of history.
Annual Report on Freedom of Information Worldwide Reporters Without Borders published its report at an event held in Spain. In attendance were two journalists who were recently released from prison, the Tunisian Boukaddous, one of the first political prisoners to be freed in Tunisia, and the Cuban Ricardo Gonzalez Alfonso, who arrived in Spain in July.
Night view of the Neimeyer International Cultural Center, with Aviles in the background. PHOTOS efe
The Work of Brazil’s Brilliant Artist. Aviles is reinventing itself with this Cultural Center, aspiring as an international model for education, culture and peace.
Niemeyer Dazzles All from Avils After three years of work, late March saw the inauguration of the Niemeyer Cultural Center in the Asturian city of Aviles. This space was designed by Oscar Niemeyer of Brazil, a renowned figure in the world of architecture, and recipient of myriad accolades including the Prince of Asturias Award in 1989. He designed the U.N. headquarters in New York and some of Brazil’s most important buildings, and this is his first work in Spain. The complex consists of a watchtower,
a multi-purpose room, a museum and an auditorium, and is the focus of Aviles’ aspirations to make a name for itself on the cultural scene. This project, backed by the central and autonomous local governments, constitutes the starting point for urban and economic rebirth in the region. The “Island of Innovation,” as its location is known, will also undergo thirteen additional developments in staging a new Aviles after industrial restructuring.
The two companies combined have 590 million clients
Telefónica and China Unicom Strengthen International Telecom Alliance The Spanish company Telefónica, one of the top telecommunications companies worldwide in terms of market capitalization, strengthened its two-year-old strategic alliance with China Unicom in early January. This agreement will increase the companies’ investments in each other by 9.7% for Telefónica’s holdings in
China Unicom, and by 1.37% for China Unicom's holdings in Telefónica. The agreement also extends strategic cooperation in a variety of business areas. Through the agreement, Telefónica positions itself in the booming Asian telecommunications market, and extends its international operations to 25 countries.
culture and society
Renaissance Paintings. The Mapfre Foundation headquarters in Madrid will host 59 masterpieces from the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya, home of the finest collection of Romanesque art in Europe.
The Finest Romanesque Art Brought to Madrid The art exhibit El esplendor del Románico (Romanesque Splendor) can be visited at the MAPFRE Foundation’s Madrid headquarters through May 15. For the first and perhaps only time, 50 masterpieces will be shown from Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya, which holds Europe’s largest collection of Romanesque art. Not since the Paris Exposition of 1937 has such a significant set of works come together as this. The exhibit consists of five sections, where one can view works that were applied to architecture (mural paintings, stone sculptures), and liturgical furnishings (panel paintings, wood sculptures, gold and silver work and enamelwork). The exhibited works demonstrate all of the major techniques and thematic elements used in Romanesque art. In addition, the MAPFRE Foundation has sought to broaden the scope of the exhibit and increase its accessibility to the general public by creating a special webpage devoted to it. The exhibit can also be seen on
With the launching of the 46-meter-long “Ramon Margalef” in Vigo, the Oceanography Institute extends its number of ships devoted to marine science to seven. This new boat will focus its work on Spanish waters. Counting boats belonging to other institutions, Spain now has about twenty of this kind, placing us at the forefront of marine research.
The Sephardic Museum of Toledo Debuts its Webpage The Sephardic Museum of Toledo, part of the Ministry of Culture, recently debuted its webpage as part of an ambitious project aimed at spreading knowledge and awareness about its activities and background, as an institution focused on tracing Jewish history in Spain.
Inauguration of New Dali Site in Florida Frontal fragment of Seu d’Urgell, 12th century.
the educational website “enredarte” (www.enredarte.com), where families, teachers and children can go to study in further detail, or play with the exhibit's contents.
Investments in Science and Technology
The World’s Largest Railway Loop to be Built in Spain This new infrastructure will help to put Spain at the cutting edge of railway technology. The project will be dedicated to trying out new rail technologies, not only in high speeds trains, but in subways, streetcars and other railway systems. The work will be funded by the Ministry of
Spain to Launch New Research Boat in Galicia
Science and Innovation, involving an investment of nearly 350 million Euros. Its hub will be located in the city of Antequera (Malaga), and the project will create more than 7,000 jobs. The loop is designed to permit maximum speeds of 520 km/h, making it a test bed for the fastest speeds in the world.
In early January, Her Royal Highness the Princess Cristina was present to inaugurate the new site of the Salvador Dali Museum in Saint Petersburg, Florida. This new museum is part of the legacy of Albert Reynolds, and will work in close collaboration with the GalaSalvador Dali Foundation to spread the work of the brilliant Spanish artist.
2011 ARCO Fair Exceeds Expectations ARCO, one of Europe’s most prestigious contemporary art fairs, put on its annual gathering in February with record sales and over 150,000 visitors. Carlos Urroz, the new event director, will shape the coming editions into a fair geared towards promoting new artists.
culture and society 61
Some writers have had to imagine hell, while other have been there. Jorge Semprún (*Madrid, 1923) experienced exile, the Resistance, Gestapo torture, Buchenwald, liberation, communism, clandestine life, expulsion from the Spanish Communist Party… by Jacobo García. JOURNALIST
With thanks to... Jorge Semprún
Marry me. I am the Revolution. Who, upon hearing such a proposal, at eighteen years old, would be able to say no? He tells of having discovered the Revolution in German philosophy as an adolescent, and the harsh experience of exile in occupied France led him to say yes. That demanding and cruel love from his youth helped him to survive one of the most tragic and bloody episodes in the history of Europe, Hitler’s concentration camps, and allowed him to find his way through the ruins of post-war Europe. What makes him a modern Candide was not thinking that we live in the best of all possible worlds, nor the assumption that life can be transformed through political action, but rather the graciousness with which he accepted all the calamities that arose from his commitment. His merit lies in having known how to transform his experiences in life into literature beyond morality. It took many years to be
able to write about them, but once he finally was able to, the result rivaled the best horror stories. For us, he is significant because he is much more than just the dignified and solitary martyr who, by saving his own skin, continues singing his song of resistance in a world that is always rushing forward. He is also the man who refuses to accept the end of utopia, the Spanish-French patient who relives his torments a thousand and one times and puts them in writing to make us stand up to oblivion. And because the varied catalogue of suffering for a country that does not even know what it is, automatically includes the collective and individual neglect in which his own comrades left him, and we thus learn first-hand what lies beneath the veneer of the political sanctification. His memories of the house of the dead are present, with greater or lesser
intensity, throughout his works, but it is in his first novel where literary material overrides life, where the text perfectly replaces reality. Centered on a journey of four days and five nights in the stinking, crowded boxcar of a train full of deportees forced to stand still, The Long Voyage is a masterpiece, with dialogue that rings incredibly true as well as wise manipulation of the reader’s emotions. Although it deals with oppression, evil and death, it is a novel mysteriously charged with energy, one that uncontrollably draws the reader towards the end and leaves him, exhausted, on the platform of that station only Europe’s literary greats can reach. The rest of his narrative has a different structure based on constant flashbacks and flashforwards and on an eternal revisiting of the same themes. In Literature or Life (1994) he returned to find the right tone to
recount the anabasis his life has been, that rigorous climb from the desert of the Tartars to the sea of the Greeks, from dogmatism to plurality. In Farewell, Bright Light (1998), a nostalgic evocation of his adolescence in search of the keys to a lifetime chasing ghosts, he even allows himself to write the word freedom, a beautiful sign of things to come. In one of its pages, he asks what would have become of his life without his sense of commitment. The years have passed, and the former combatant remains committed to exploring in each of his narrative plunges the mystery that hides behind the life he was granted on more than one occasion. The recurring image of an ominous blizzard has become less oppressive. The heavy flakes of old have been falling ever more gently on the warm autumnal pond of democracy, dissolving like sleet on the calm surface of the water.
● Introducción a la cultura china. (Introduction to Chinese Culture) Ernest Fenollosa. Melusina Edition.
● Transiciones en el
espejo. Una aproximación comparada a los procesos de transformación democrática de España y Albania. (Mirror Transitions. An comparative assessment of the transition process to democracy in Spain and Albania) Various authors. AECID.
In Albania the question is often raised of how the Spanish transition to democracy might constitute a point of reference for the process that this country has been undergoing since the fall of the communist regime. This collection offers a comparative examination of the processes of democratic and socioeconomic transformation in Spain and Albania, drawn from a conference on the topic organized by the Spanish Embassy in Tirana. Among the contributors are the Spaniards Anna Balletbó, Isidre Molas, Joaquín Arriola and former Spanish ambassador Manuel Montobbio, and the Albanians Adrian Civici, Piro Misha, Fatos Lubonja and former Albanian presidents Rexhep Mejdani and Alfred Moisiu.
Ernest Fenollosa is one of the most outstanding pioneers of Oriental studies. The son of a Spaniard from Málaga based in the United States, he studied philosophy and sociology at Harvard. He later traveled to Japan and gave classes in aesthetics at Tokyo Imperial University during the
Meiji restoration. In 1886, the Emperor entrusted him with the promotion of Japanese art in the West. In 1890, he was appointed Director of the Oriental Department at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. He died while working on the two volumes of his masterpiece, Epochs of Chinese and Japanese Art. After his death, his wife sent Fenollosa's manuscripts, which included his translations of classical Chinese texts, to poet and editor Ezra Pound. Pound appropriated the material and published Cathay (1915), a work which had a huge impact. Through this, almost involuntarily, Fenollosa had a direct influence on
the Western avant-garde movement of the first half of the 20th century. His ashes were transported and interred in the Hômyô Miidera-Onjôji temple in Otsu, near Kyoto. ● Los judeoconversos
en la cultura y sociedad españolas. (Jewish converts in Spanish culture and society) Ángel Alcalá. Trotta Edition.
Throughout the Middle Ages in Spain, prominent Jewish figures excelled in many different fields, but both the benefits of their social activity and their scientific and biblical production disappeared, and their writing had no impact on the majority Christian culture. The bridge between Spain's Jewish and Christian cultures was erected by Jewish converts. What Américo Castro and Benzion Netanyahu have defined as "Jewish convert identity" must be recognized as a specifically Spanish historical fact, underlining the reality that the huge contribution of the Jewish people to Spanish culture and society was not the work of Jews per se, but of Jewish converts to Christianity. Combining erudition and scientific rigor with literary quality, this book raises these issues. The first two parts of the book examine the theological confrontation and the Inquisition; the third reviews the cultural contribution of Jewish converts to the typically Spanish Judeo-Christian symbiosis, some literary
testimonies to the colossal tragedies and certain aspects of the censorship activities of the Spanish and Portuguese Inquisition; and the fourth section offers examples of some prominent Jewish converts with varying degrees of Jewish roots: Alfonso and Juan de Valdés, Joan Lluís Vives, María de Cazalla, Fray Luis de León and Miguel Servet. ● ¿Para qué servimos los jueces? (What do judges do?) José Antonio Martín Pallín. Catarata Books. “Judges" asserts José Antonio Martín Pallín "should use their intelligence skillfully to ensure that justice is done.” Based on this premise, the author proposes some keys that may guide (future) judges in their task of conflict resolution within the framework established by the Constitution and laws of Spain. He also asserts the need for a form of justice that considers the citizen, for which he proposes a series of changes to a model like the present one, which shows unmistakable signs of obsolescence. The automaton judge, a “dumb mouth pronouncing the
✱... a must read ● Obras completas, Tomo X. (Complete Works, Volume 10) José Ortega y Gasset.
Ortega-Marañón Foundation and Taurus Edition.
On February 8, the headquarters of the Ortega-Marañón Foundation hosted the launch of Volume 10 of the complete works of José Ortega y Gasset, a co-publication by the Foundation and the Taurus publishing house, with the support of Telefónica and Banco Santander. In addition to including the philosopher's last posthumously published texts (written between 1949 and 1955), Volume 10 of the complete works contains the general indexes, including an exhaustive index of concepts, names and places, a chronology of the author's written work, and an alphabetical index of titles. These supplements, covering the all 10 volumes, represent extraordinary added value, as they facilitate quick reference to the whole collection. This edition marks the culmination of a publishing project without precedent, dedicated to one of Spain's most world-renowned thinkers.
words of the law”, chosen by a model of obsolete and inefficient oppositions, should be replaced with a learned judge with common sense, respectful of the people who come before him and familiar with the reality in which he performs his role. Throughout this book, readers can trace the evolution of justice in Spain from the dictatorship to democracy and, based on the experiences and opinions of this judge emeritus of the Supreme Court, develop an idea of the qualities that judges need today to fulfill the role that society expects of them.
from fascism to democracy. The book focuses mainly on that crucial period in Spain's history and in the career of the man who, along with King Juan Carlos, was its chief individual protagonist, and attempts to shed light on some of the unsolved mysteries that still exist regarding that time. It is a book conceived as a historiographical work, which doesn't shy away from the great enigmas of his life and his time, to bring readers closer to this fascinating politician and personality, still very familiar to the Spanish public.
● Adolfo Suárez. La
historia que no se contó. (The untold history) Juan Francisco Fuentes. Planeta Edition.
This work covers the whole life of Adolfo Suárez and the different facets of his career, from the most intimate and personal details to the dimension of his public image, and especially analyzes the role he played during Spain's transition
● Memoria 2010. Casa Casa Mediterráneo has published its annual report, which summarizes the many activities programmed during 2010 in the areas of the environment, sustainable tourism, culture, heritage, economics and development. In its second year of life, this institution, which forms part of the public diplomacy network of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and
Cooperation, has presented exhibitions, conferences, seminars and forums in more than twenty cities. This year, this Alicantebased institution will be established in its permanent headquarters as soon as the works on the Benalúa station are completed. ● El camino de arena.
(The Sand Pathway) Itziar Ruiz-Giménez. Catarata Books.
The migration-development binomial has become one of the buzz words of Spanish Cooperation, inspiring a diverse range of initiatives: from migration control measures to projects and programs which, at least in theory, seek to take advantage of the supposed advantages of international migration for development
and to reduce its negative effects to a minimum. This book offers a critical examination of the policies, programs and projects implemented by Spanish Cooperation under the migration-development heading in Senegal, and shows how it has been based on a vision that is excessively reductionist, economic and security-focused, while dismissing other perspectives that take a multidimensional and integrated approach to the complex relation between migration and development. It also analyzes the role that local players have had in both the design and the implementation of
✱... a must read ● Ramón Laurido y el
estudio de las relaciones hispanomarroquíes. (Ramón Laurido and the Study of Ibero-Moroccan Relations) Various Authors. AECID
The Directorate General of Cultural Relations of Spain's Agency for International Cooperation and Development (AECID)
the projects, their degree of appropriation and their process of institutional reinforcement, and reveals the long road that still lies ahead before the controversial principles of the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness are turned from words into concrete practices and policies. ● AWRAQ. Revista de
Análisis y Pensamiento sobre el Mundo Árabe e islámico Contemporáneo. (Journal of Analysis and Thought on the Contemporary Arab and Islamic World) Casa Árabe and AECID
The second issue of the journal AWRAQ has as its theme the Gulf nations - a new Arab vanguard? It features several articles by prominent specialists who offer different perspectives on this region of the Arab world: relations between the European Union and the Gulf Cooperation Council (Alberto Ucelay Urech); renewable energies in the Gulf (Habiba Al Marashi); the role of the Gulf Cooperation Council in the Arab region; Al-Jazeera
has just published this book in tribute to the Franciscan monk Ramón Laurido, writer, professor and researcher. The aim of its editors - María Victoria Alberola, Fernando de Ágreda and Bernabé López - is twofold. On the one hand, to compile some of his less known work. And on the other, to enable researchers, professors and
and Qatar (Salam Kawakibi); and the arts in the United Arab Emirates (Steve Sabella), among others. The section “Figuras e itinerarios” (Figures and Itineraries) contains the biographies of three contemporary Arab thinkers who have recently passed away: Muhammad Abid al-Yabri, Nasr Hamid Abu Zayd, and Muhammad Arkoun; it also offers a chronology of recent events in Arab politics (from February 2010 to October 2010) and several book reviews. ● Bicentenarios de
libertad. (Bicentenials of Liberty) José Antonio Piqueras. Península Edition
This book describes the process that gave rise to modern politics in Spain and in the Hispanic, indigenous, African and mixed-race Americas. Professor Piqueras, a prominent specialist, is interested in the meaning that a range of previously silenced players - lawyers and businessmen, royal officials, the middle classes and the masses -
students who shared with him his passion for the study of the history of Morocco and its relations with Spain to contribute material exploring the themes that constituted his scientific or academic activity, thereby recalling aspects of their personal relationship with a man who dedicated his life to study and research.
Empire on a national basis, as well as the strategies of the emerging groups in the colonies, all of which were aimed at retaining broad powers of self-government. In this way, the book reveals that both the notions that these groups made use of and their interests led them on a different course, to an epic, dramatic and hopeful time in history: the struggles for independence. gave to concepts that would subsequently be tied to their existence and to that of the new communities they called nations. Concepts that range from the meaning and scope of freedoms, the value and the qualities of representative government and the individual represented by it, the exercise of sovereignty, equality among people of different social and ethnic backgrounds... concepts that run throughout this book with the aim of precisely specifying each one, defining what it includes and excludes. "Bicentenarios de libertad" (Bicentenials of Liberty) examines the attempt to re-establish the Spanish
● De Tánger al Nilo,
crónica del norte de África. (From Tangiers to the Nile, a Chronicle of North Africa) Javier Valenzuela. Catarata Books
Northern Africa is the balcony of the Arab and Muslim world over Europe. Between the Atlantic and the Red Sea live 200 million people - one third of them under 15 years of age - who share similar situations: despotism and corruption, economic hardship and social imbalances; but also the pride of belonging to an ancient civilization, an unbreakable passion for life and a great thirst for freedom
c and justice. Perceived by Europe as a source of problems (immigration, drug trafficking, the rise of Islamism, terrorist threats, etc.), northern Africa is the subject of this book, which may also be read as a contemporary version of the travels to the East undertaken in the 14th century by Ibn Batuta of Tangier. "De Tánger al Nilo" (From Tangiers to the Nile) is a compilation of 36 articles and reports on the region published by Javier Valenzuela from the 1980s up to the present. It is divided into four sections - Morocco, the Sahara, Algeria and Egypt - and begins with a foreword written for the occasion by the author. ● El Estatuto jurídico
de los aragoneses en el Extranjero. (Aragonese Judicial Statutes Abroad) José Manuel Paz Agüeras. Aragonese Justice
The latest title published for the El Justicia de Aragón collection was written by Ambassador José Manuel Paz Agüeras, who defines himself as a man from Aragón with a long history abroad. Among other topics, the author reviews the connections of the Aragonese in the world by virtue of their triple citizenship: European, Spanish and Aragonese. He also analyzes the relationship between Aragón and Aragonese communities abroad and the presence of the Justicia de Aragón (the Community's ombudsman) in Aragonese interests both in and outside of Spain. In
largely unknown in Spain, as very few authors have been translated and very few works published. Such is the case of the poetry of Oman, a country with a long tradition in this genre, with classic figures such as Alman ben Sulaiman al-Nabhani (d. 1510) and al-Habashi (d. 1737).
✱... a must read ● Trilogía: La Repúbli-
ca Española en guerra. (Trilogy: The Spanish Republic at War) Ángel Viñas. Critical Edition.
This box set compiles Professor Ángel Viñas's trilogy on the Spanish Republic, comprised of ‘La soledad de la República’ (The Solitude of the Republic), ‘El escudo de la República’ (The Emblem of the Republic) and ‘El honor de la República’ (The Honor of the Republic). While the first book analyzes the beginning of the coup to bring down the Republic, its shameful abandonment by the Western democracies and its turn toward the Soviet Union, the second offers a masterful account of the crucial period of the conflict from the fall of 1936 to the summer of 1937. In the third volume, Viñas takes us step by step through much of the administration of President Negrín and analyzes the strategies
short, it is a book that offers jurists and the Aragonese the chance to learn a little more about law in Aragón, traditionally a land of emigration. ● Antología de poesía
omaní contemporánea. (Anthology of Contemporary Omani Poetry) Hussein Mansur and Jacobo Guzmán (translators). Omani Embassy.
of the British and French governments to pacify the fascist dictators. At the same time, it demystifies the Soviet interests in the Republic and Stalin's role in the war. This excellent trilogy is based on the exhaustive study of all the documentary resources available, in a solid work that seeks to offer a new conception of many aspects of the Spanish Republic. Ángel Viñas is Professor of Economics at the Complutense University of Madrid and an economist for the Spanish government.
Casa Árabe recently presented the first bilingual Arabic-Spanish anthology of contemporary Omani poetry, compiling the work of authors like Saif al Rahbi, Nura al Badi, Muhammad al Rahbi, Hagr al Breiki, Khamis Qalam, Awad al Luwhi, Saida Khater, Laila al Bulushi and Hilal al Hagri. The literary production and particularly the poetry of the different countries of the Arabian Peninsula is
● Papiniano, El abogado.
(Papiniano, the lawyer) Translation by Javier Jiménez-Ugarte. Sial Edition
Diplomat Javier JiménezUgarte has just published the translation of the memoirs of a famous Greek lawyer who was attorney to Aristotle Onassis and Karamanlis. The book has been launched at the Bar Associations of Madrid, Valladolid and Ceuta. In Valladolid, University President Marcos Sacristán declared that “El Abogado” (The Lawyer) by Tryfon Koutalidis, translated from the Greek by Javier Jiménez-Ugarte, should be compulsory reading in all law schools seeking to adapt to the objectives for training and labor market placement set by the Bologna Plan.
We are in the studio of the painter and sculptor Antonio López, the finest example of contemporary Spanish realism. Packed with drawings, paintings, sketches and photographs, it could be a lab for the research of reality, full of experiments and ideas about to take shape. His cat keeps us company as it lounges around during the interview, perhaps a reflection of the independent and non-conformist personality of its owner, one of Spain's most universal artists. His words show that, beyond aesthetics, this is a man with enormous sensitivity and concern for the world he lives in: “Sometimes you only need to increase the scale and things become extraordinary”. By Beatriz Beeckmans.
“The everyday generates truly unexpected emotions" When speaking face-to-face - and, in his words "in no hurry" - with one of the world's greatest painters, the feeling of privilege mounts as he divulges his first thought and we discover that behind his wondrous works of art, loaded with realism and precision, we find an extraordinary person: "It is impossible to know what has happened to any one of us if you haven't walked in the same shoes", he warns before admitting that he is happy with how he has led his own life: — Are you happy with the life you have led? — Very. I suppose some things could have been better, but I think as a whole it's good. At my age it becomes possible to size things up, and I think I've been very lucky. — Is painting a way of connecting yourself to the world? — I think so. It's a good way of being connected to the world. I came to Madrid in '49, aged 13. I wanted to study Fine Art and the School was here. My family were
on side, I had to prepare the application, and the best place for this was Madrid. I joined the school in 1950, and studied there until 1955. A few years later, I had already been painting for a few years at this point, the School called me as they remembered that I was a good student. They needed a teacher and wanted to know if I was interested; I couldn't wait. I taught classes from '64 to '69, 9 years after graduating. I spent 5 years there before moving on. — How do your rate artistic education in Spain in general, and in painting in particular? Will there be a new generation who works on their own terms? — Yes. There always has and there always will. Outside of centers of learning, the person who begins this journey and is talented, with intuition and the ability to analyze and absorb, will find a multitude of places where things may develop and become illuminating. Not only in teaching centers; In fact, there are painters and sculptors who do not pass
through art school and go their own way, approaching people and places that they find the most interesting and they believe will be useful to them. There is a kind of self-taught learning which if embarked upon intelligently - Tàpies, Chillida... creates an artist trained in this way. Then we have the centers of learning, that were historically painters' studios; This was where new generations went to learn from those who went before - Veázquez went to Pacheco's and Herrera's studios; Leonardo da Vinci went to Verrocchio's... This method of teaching other artists was always used, until the development of teaching centers. — How much of this is learned and how much is personal intuition or concerns? — It can't be measured. It is impossible to know what has happened to any one of us if you haven't walked in the same shoes. The most likely is that everything would have been worse. At at that time, as I was from a village in La Mancha, if I didn't come to Madrid, even though I was poor,
here was the best opportunities. It taught me everything. — What most fascinates you about Madrid, the protagonist of your work? Is it possible to feel inspired by concrete? — Well, for you it probably isn't very inspiring, and I don't really like it that much, but generally, for the artist or he who works with these things, everything begins in the world in which he lives, whether he likes it or not; He who painted Altamira would have felt very cold an put up with a lot of discomfort, and there would have been an enormous amount of unexpected events and misfortunes, but it would all have been worth it to complete his work and this is how it tends to be in general. Art is fed by the life that the artist absorbs through his experiences. Sometimes the city that you end up in, although adequate, isn't a pleasant place, or an Andalusian village is nicer, but here you have gotten to know and discover more. — Your work is incredibly detailed and precise. Have you always been a very observant person? — Well... Pio Baroja was really observant. But a connection to life and the world can be made possible through observation, feelings or sensations. Observation is one of the tools, not the only one. An artist can be very good but also lacking focus and which he replaces in other ways of capturing the energy and character of things. — What kind of sensitivity lets you do what you do? — It's very hard to define because there are people who start off in literature and end up in film, or who start off in painting and end up in poetry, but then there are those who start in one place and remain there without needing to change, perhaps because they made a pertinent choice based on where they were working and the language to make it in. All languages (with the exception of film which is born from photography) are as old as each other, with the same roots. Dance, music, literature, sculpture, architecture...
all of this was born simultaneously, possibilities to express how you experience life, and languages that have always been there. They have been very pertinent and well-adjusted to the expression of man's sensations. If you choose painting then I suppose it's because you are especially sensitive to what is visual and you capture what is most emotive in the world. Sometimes you choose because of an external factor such as your family pushed you in this direction, but other times it's because of a mysterious intuition that leads you there. Because through painting you will be able to relate to something as complex as human emotion, because this is what it's about... — Listening to you speak, it seems that you live this experience very naturally... —I believe it's difficult not to live life naturally. Life is natural for humans, vegetables and animals. All of this occurs beyond our control, miraculously. — Now that you have mentioned animals and plants, I'm surprised that your work doesn't include more representations of nature. I don't think it's because you don't like it, because I get the impression that you really enjoy the countryside... — Well, nature is everything. Even the pollution that exists in cities. This is a kind of nature. There is only nature.
— Do you think that urban landscapes are a kind of nature? — Yes, it's a kind of intervening nature, not created by man, because man did not create the sunlight that shines on the city nor the clouds that float above it. And in general, the painter and sculptor live in big cities, because this is where the support necessary for their work can be found. — Do you mean galleries? — Yes, and customers too... Big cities have always been well represented, however, what we call nature has been far more scarce. Man has found it it difficult to reach certain natural spaces. And now that it's easy to reach them, the painter and sculptor often use a language that lies outside the world of the representation of reality. Alberto Durero's or Leonardo's work was related to nature. The contents of a flowerpot can be as surprising as the Amazon Rainforest. I have worked in big cites with what they have to offer and found it very interesting. I even saw nature there. — It's comforting to hear what you have to say, because I find it very hostile… — Because it is very hostile. How can I see it as anything else when I paint it as well as live in it? — And look at it for so long... — Yes. It's incredibly hostile. What is a shame is that no one talks about it
anymore and, most of all, that it doesn't stop. Those in charge boast that they have the tallest building... instead of saying, "I have the best garden". It's an outrage fed by the section of society that likes it, otherwise it wouldn't happen. Then there are many who remain neutral and don't see it and those who see that it's dangerous, or who remain silent or whose opinion remains entirely neutralized by triumphalism. Like the few who complained that the Olympics would come to Madrid. And the people who speak in this way often feel like traitors because the go against the common feeling, which is what it seems that they should agree with. I don't feel this way at all, and there are others who feel the same, but who remain too quiet. Man pays too much attention to small disputes, and doesn't see general dangers and, of course, those in power are not willing to take a look at this because it would be to ruin all western, capitalist, consumer society, while they want it to become bigger and for us all to take part in it. — I was just thinking about how it must be a source of pleasure to many people, and satisfaction for yourself to think that all of those who arrive in Madrid by train will see these two heads, inspired by your grandchild, in Atocha station. It's such a human touch in a very impersonal space...
— The meaning is that life contains all of this positivity in spite of everything. Humanity has always been affected by terrible events and man is so inseparable from life that he has always found a way to find great pleasure and enjoyment. And it will always be this way: the inner need to connect to the positive and comfortable through art, that what you see or touch will always exist. In our time, art is stained with hostility and expresses this, sometimes almost voluntarily. It's like a testament to what is happening. If what happens is dark, then art has to communicate the darkness. It's a long tile since happy art was made. There hasn't been any art that talks to you about the the light side of life since Greece. As a bloc, Greek art is the end of the collective representation of light. From then on darkness invades from all sides, and is now out of all proportion. Some artists want to express it with the greatest impact, because they know that this favors their value and increases their presence. — Do you think this is why they sell more? — All that is morbid about humanity finds fuel there. In general today, all that catches the eye is related to something crude and dark, and the viewer tends to respond to this. Then you see people like Bacon, who feels this need and has it written on his face. His personal
condition moves him closer to the void. But most often you know this and think "This guy does this because things will get better for him”. — Do you think this is legitimate? — It has always happened. There are people who work towards it, to the detriment of the truth if necessary. This can't be demonstrated... And then there are people who are entirely noble and who, whatever happens, even though they sometimes agree, their aim is to always express the truth, to be faithful to their feelings. — Do you yourself find this truth in the most everyday things? — I also find mystery in everyday things. A woman who is cooking is also thinking... she can be suffering or having fun. Mystery is found everywhere. Dreams, wishes, and desires are also found in the everyday. Things aren't in independent boxes, but rather they intermingle. — To give a concrete example, what is behind your piece ‘Ropa en remojo (Soaking Clothes)’? — It's difficult to provide an explication, but in general you work with feelings. Asking this is like asking yourself why Tàpies puts "a"s or "t"s. There's also something that not even he knows, and it's very pretentious to explain everything. In my opinion, the real elements are the most seductive, mysterious and attractive. An item
submerged in water, for example. In the same period I did a woman submerged in water and the combination of a solid body, of the flesh or the clothes in water... All of this casts a spell on you, like seas and rivers and, on a smaller scale, it's this kind of representation. Without there being more to it. The curiosity that the physical elements provoke is inside you, if you work with this. It's seduction of the world. — I am now going to ask you for a more childish viewpoint. The two giant heads in Atocha belong to your granddaughter.... does she like them? — I think so, yes! I child expresses things differently from an adult, but I believe that they grasp it and feel it just the same. They are different forms of expression, and you have to find starting with something more obvious, but I believe that it must be very surprising to see herself, and to see herself like this. She knows that it's her. I don't want to put words in her mouth, but she definitely does. She was in the foundry when they were made and asked a few questions, but I don't like to purify all of this, I like to let it be something natural. She knows that I work with real objects. This time it was her, but it could have been a street or a plucked chicken. — Why are they called Día y Noche (Day and NIght)? — I have worked on my grandchildren
since they were very young. In this case, my granddaughter Carmen was very small, a few months old, and she posed for me awake and asleep. Both ways seemed wonderful to me, and I couldn't decide whether to open or close her eyes. That's why I made two, firstly with closed eyes and then one with the eyes open. And when the Atocha order came up, I thought that these heads could grow very well they are made from a smaller one - and express many things. And when they were larger they expressed something very different from the everyday, all that was needed was to increase the scale. Such is the everyday: it generates unanticipated emotions. — Do these pieces take you as long to make as your paintings? — My slowness is united to my way of working. There are pieces that I start and that remain stalled for weeks, months or years, or I abandon them and then go back to them much later. These jobs that grow intermittently can go on forever. It's not because I take longer, rather because I work with a lot of interruptions. And when I work continuously, I am only slow depending on who you compare me to. Modern art can be made at a cracking
pace. There have always been slow and quick representations. Rubens knew that he was quick and Leonardo slow, but the difference wasn't as wide as it is now. — Are you worried about the role of new technologies? — No, not at all. I think it helps me, even though I'm not as optimistic as others about the advancements, because I can see all that has been lost on this crusade. When I was a child, for example, I had a better life than my grandchildren do now. There was no penicillin, but in my days children were very happy, with a kind of freedom that they don't have today. Today they are imprisoned and it is no better for many adults for whom life is not beautiful, stuck in their apartments unable to go out. I think that extraordinary spaces in life have been lost. I don't think that we eat nor breathe as well. And those are just a few things. And if you don't want to think they are important, you don't have to. But they are. — How do you feel when you see your work's value increase so much? I suppose it's a source of great satisfaction... — When it does, which is not all that often, it is satisfying. I am not going to waste it. This privilege will make me
always work to improve. I am thankful for it and I think it's great, because the things which we admire in general are made because someone has been able to make them. Society has been the impulse, and said: you must make this. And in general, the artist has. You cannot create without this mandate or support. If society says to the baker, "Keep making bread", and the baker is a good baker, he will think: “Let's do this properly, it's worthwhile”. — What else does he have to do? — Finish what has to be finished and begin something new. Continue working. I'm still very hopeful about my work and I think there are things which I should make more of. I don't think that I've said all that I have to say. I am evolving and what I am today I need to say today, and what I will be in a year I will say next year. Your art changes when you do. I has to be like this; if you like this work you will never retire. This is my life. I am very happy to do it and I have noticed that it's good for me. I feel the same as Pío Baroja, who said that the truth is always the most interesting, and that lies are always very boring. Everyone knows what the truth is inside himself.
From Left to Right. Antonio López in 1993, during the opening of the anthology exhibition in the Reina Sofia Museum. The Prince and Princess of Asturias award the painter the Velázquez Visual Arts Prize in 2006. Antonio López painting in the Puerta del Sol in Madrid in August 2010. fotos efe.
profile Antonio López, master of realist painting and unanimously considered to be one of the most universal Spanish painters, was born in Tomelloso (Ciudad Real), in 1939. Motivated by his uncle, also a painter, he started
to paint at thirteen, even though before this he drew cards and copied paintings that he saw in magazines. Since then, fully dedicated to visual arts, has created an unmistakeable body of work - oil paintings, drawings and sculptures - that has made him
one of the most sought after painters on the international art scene. After spending several years in a seminary, in 1949, already set on being a painter, he moved to Madrid and studied at the Escuela de Artes y Oficios and Bellas Artes
de San Fernando, where he was professor of Colors in 1964. He won the Prince of Asturias Prize for Art in 1985, is the exclusive artist of the Galería Marlborough, and has taken part in a multitude of individual and group exhibitions.
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Miradas al exterior is an official publication of diplomatic news from the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, with a quarterly circulation of 14,000 copies across the world, and translated into English. Available online at www.maec.es
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