This morning Miquel Iceta accepted the portfolio of Culture and Sports from the hands of José Manuel Rodríguez Uribes with a greeting in all the official languages that has sounded like a declaration of principles. “The multilingual nature of Spanish culture forces cultural federalism and I am preparing to do everything possible from the position that I am going to occupy,” said the former Minister of Territorial Policy and Public Function. His speech, full of humor and references to the predecessors “who are no longer there” (“culture is also memory and I cannot stop remembering Carmen Alborch and Jordi Solé Tura without being moved”), has also included an acknowledgment of the potential of Spanish in the world. “We have the capacity to become a cultural and sports superpower,” he warned. “We have to talk about Spain”, he defended, to add that it is “not difficult” for him, since he tries to “always carry the shield of Spain”, because he has never seen “anything more inclusive”.
Another axis of his speech, which has received the applause of those present, has been concern about homophobia and its necessary eradication in society. He remembered Samuel Luiz, “brutally murdered” in A Coruña. “Culture is tolerance, respect and coexistence. The more culture, the more we will be able to eradicate irrational violence. I will work for a culture that breaks prejudices and opens doors ”. He has also issued a warning to the president of RTVE. “We are going to have to work a lot together so that television continues to be the engine of change in culture and sports.”
Iceta, who has acknowledged not being a great athlete, despite some of his ancestors (he had a great-uncle, a soccer player, who also won a gold medal for Spain in Basque pelota at the 1924 Paris Olympic Games), has reviewed then the most urgent matters that lie ahead and that are highly developed by the previous team: the signing of the rental agreement with Baroness Thyssen, the Statute of the Artist, the Cinema Law or the transposition of the European regulations of the rights of Author. In that sense, he has recognized the work of his predecessor, who found himself, upon arrival, with a long pandemic, and who has had to make his voice heard in the face of the priorities of a government occupied in other emergencies. In this sense, he has launched a message full of humor to the Minister of Finance, María Jesús Montero, who has attended the act of transfer of the portfolio, so that she does everything possible to facilitate the initiatives of her ministry.
And if the pandemic marked the year and a half of José Manuel Rodríguez Uribes as Minister of Culture, it has also marked his departure. His farewell has been moved, for health reasons, from the traditional solemn room of the main headquarters to an attached auditorium where representatives of the world of culture and sports have gathered. Among others, the three directors of the three most important national museums have attended – Miguel Falomir (Prado), Manuel Borja-Villel (Reina Sofía) and Guillermo Solana (Thyssen) -, former ministers of Culture who are now presidents of boards (Javier Solana , del Prado, and Ángeles González-Sinde, del Reina), representatives of the Royal Theater (Joan Matabosch and Gregorio Marañón) and members of the secretariats of State and of the units dependent on the ministry, whose positions are awaiting confirmation. On the sport side, it has been possible to see the president of the Royal Spanish Football Federation, Luis Rubiales, and that of the Spanish Olympic Committee, Alejandro Blanco.
Uribes came citing Antonio Machado (“The eye you see is not / eye because you see it; / it’s eye because it sees you”) and he does the same with the “English and Catholic” writer GK Chesterton, with a phrase taken from a text entitled LEthics in the land of the elves: “The test of happiness is gratitude.” “I want to thank my friend Miquel Iceta. Congratulate him, welcome him to this house and, of course, say that, although he is a person with criteria and abilities, I also want to wish him luck and success, ”says Uribes. Thank you all, goodbye. That you know that I carry you in my heart and for me it has been an unforgettable experience, thank you very much ”.