For those of us who have represented Spain, and all its political and cultural expressions, as well as its varied economic interests, we have had to learn -because one is not born with this capacity- to speak -independently of our ideas- of these expressions, with neutrality in political controversies; to reduce bilateral tensions with the countries in which we were accredited, and to treat with absolute discretion when it came to high political issues or privileged or secret information. As they say, data “for exclusive or restricted knowledge”. And I guarantee you that it is not easy.
It is not surprising that our monarch, who was educated with great dedication, and who is aware, through his own family experience, of the ruthless scrutiny of the monarchical institution, and who knows in detail more than anyone else about our internal and external political vicissitudes, knows how to interpret adequately and accurately the complexity of representing a multicultural and multilingual State. Moreover, in recent years, our country has gone through -not to mention the many remarkable achievements- surprising political ups and downs, has banished, possibly forever, bi-partisanship, and is experiencing territorial tensions that are difficult to resolve. Something not easy to explain in other regions of the world.
Summarize all this to the Israeli president, a country in a state of upheaval by excellence, in the lapidary phrase “our country has recently experienced a somewhat complex political context” and “now a new cycle is starting”, as opposed to appearing to be a trivial expression, is, in its simplicity, a clever expression of sanity, political impartiality and a positive sense of state. It is something, of course, that a king and head of state is supposed to do, but in these current conditions of a society that is fed up with electoral repetition, of harsh and insulting political language and of a feeling of absence of what Spain’s priorities are, it invites us not only to recognize the monarch’s insight, but also to ponder the message that there is a “new cycle” of politics that should be taken advantage of.
The Spanish people in general would be delighted if this “new cycle” could be used to achieve State consensus in education, the retirement system and in approaching the Catalan challenge, for example.
I believe that Felipe VI is prepared, has a strong state sense, and has a strong sense of equality – if I may be allowed – in order to represent us with effectiveness outside and inside Spain. Those of us who have had the opportunity to see him work closely know this, but I am sure that at some point our monarch would prefer to define and sum up outside what is happening to us inside with a “we are doing well, we are well and we are immersed in a good cycle”, to paraphrase a past Argentinean president. It would also be a generalist and vague expression, but undoubtedly a little more optimistic, of that Spain that we are longing for in recent times many millions of Spanish people.
Carmelo Angulo Barturen
Diplomatic since 1977. He has been Ambassador of Spain in Bolivia, Colombia, Argentina and Mexico and UN Coordinator in Nicaragua and Argentina. Director of the Institute for Cooperation of the Camilo José Cela University and Second Vice-President of the Francisco Luzón Foundation. Founder and partner of the consulting firm Angulo Barturen Diplomacia Corporativa (ABDC).