III summit of the European Political Community
Granada European Summit
The European Council is held in which the future enlargement of the EU will be discussed to integrate eight new countries
Visit of the companions of the European leaders to the Albaicín in Granada
The companions of the European leaders go on a tourist tour through the center of Granada
After the success of the European Political Community summit, where Europe's commitment to Ukraine to confront the war with Russia was ratified, with the approval of a new package of military measures, Granada faces the second and last day of meetings, with the celebration of the Informal Council of Heads of State and Government of the EU.
After the departure of the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelensky, who was the most prominent figure at Thursday's meeting in Granada, the information display is less and the work day is more technical. The delegations have been reduced by practically half, going from 51 yesterday to 27 today, not including those of the European Union institutions.
The day begins at 8:30 with the arrival of the leaders of the Union, led by Pedro Sánchez, who holds the rotating Presidency of the European Union this semester, which has the Granada summits as its most important events. The meeting continues with the plenary session in the García Lorca room of the Congress Palace.
The family photo with which the summit will conclude will be on the steps of the Palace at 12:30. But the work will not be finished because there will be a press conference later. It will be once they conclude that they leave the city in stages to return to their countries of origin, so normality will be recovered little by little.
Culture, heritage and flamenco for those accompanying the European Summit on its second day in Granada
A talk at the Madraza, photos on the Paseo de los Tristes and a flamenco show with Juan Habichuela Nieto on guitar was the culmination of the alternative summit.
The center of Granada and the Albaicín neighborhood have experienced this Friday as the companions of the heads of State and Government have taken advantage of the second day of the European Summit to go sightseeing and visit some of the most iconic places of the capital's heritage. A visit to La Madraza and the lower Albaicín, with a stop at the Paseo de los Tristes, were the events that preceded a lunch at the Cármen de los Chapiteles, at the foot of the Alhambra, enlivened by the music of Juan Habichuela Grandson on guitar.
The Gran Vía has been a continuous coming and going of official cars throughout the morning. The husbands, wives and children of the politicians got off from them to attend, first of all, what was the first public university in Al-Andalus through Oficios Street, very used to the passage of people. Once inside the Madrasah they attended a colloquium talk by Dorothy Kelly, from the Department of Translation and Interpretation of the University of Granada.
While this was happening, dozens of curious onlookers were located near the entrances to Oficios, their progress being slowed by a strong security control, which at all times checked the vehicles with police dogs to avoid security problems. The traffic stopped only at times, for the passage of the delegations, while hundreds of curious onlookers did not hesitate to take out their cell phones to immortalize the image.
«I want to see the Queen, who I have been told is there and yesterday she was looking beautiful in the Alhambra,» said Azucena, an older lady who, despite the fact that we informed her that the Kings of Spain were no longer in Granada, did not he was leaving the place. «Well, for Sánchez's wife, the thing is to get through the morning,» she laughed.
Others, however, were not so encouraged. Many sighs when driving on the sidewalk and complaints about the impossibility of living a normal life. The stopper on Oficios Street was worthy of a celebrity catwalk, and in part it was. A citizen who did not want to give her name protested the situation. «They could have already gone to the field or somewhere else, always bothering,» she said, interspersing insults, while her companion nodded.
The women who distribute rosemary in exchange for «the will» were also not around. Although they were not very far away, they positioned themselves at other strategic intersections with the Cathedral and the Alcaicería and continued trying their luck with locals and tourists.
From the Center to the Albaicín
Shortly before 12:20 p.m. the procession began to leave the Madrassah and get into the minibuses and vans. Then the security device moved and life in Carrera del Darro came to a standstill. No one passed through the area, and tourists walking along the most beautiful street in the world had to move aside as the convoy passed by.
Upon arrival at the Paseo de los Tristes, the doors opened and the companions got off to admire the Alhambra, which they already knew from the inside, from their feet. There was no shortage of photos, selfies and questions to Begoña Gómez, wife of the acting president Pedro Sánchez, and the tourist guides who accompanied them. The hoteliers in the area and those who had a drink on the terraces were surprised by the situation. A short walk to the Cuesta del Rey Chico and the Fuente del Avellano gave them access to the Carmen de los Chapiteles, where they would eat a special lunch.
Tatiana, a tourist from Lugo, was very frustrated by the situation. «We wanted to go up the Cuesta del Rey Chico, but of course we have encountered this and the police have thrown us out in a very bad manner.» Although they knew about the Summit, she decided not to cancel her trip. «We had the flights taken out two months ago, and the hotel in the center. Now it would have been impossible. And by miracle, tomorrow we will enter the Alhambra», she commented.
The flamenco of Juan Habichuela and his Hugs to Lorca
Before tasting the prepared dishes, there was time for a new show. The companions of the heads of State and Government watched as Juan Habichuela Nieto picked up the guitar and delighted those present with a performance that gave them a sample of the city's flamenco art.
This private performance by the Granada artist will be the starting signal for a national tour that will take him to 15 concerts spread across Seville, Córdoba, Madrid and Barcelona, among others. «We have prepared this performance with great enthusiasm and affection, and we want to give them the best hug with our music, and for them to take away a good taste of Granada in their mouths,» Habichuela himself assured Granada Hoy.
In total, 15 minutes of performance during which he was accompanied by the percussionist Miguel Cheyenne and the artist Coco Reyes. Among the repertoire were two pieces, one of them the bolero Poeta en Nueva York and the other a bulería from his latest album, Ocho Abrazos para Lorca.
While the music played, Reyes recited Lorca's poems «with an open heart,» as she herself told this newspaper upon leaving. «It has been a great show, they have been impressed with the art. When I finished, the president's wife came towards me with goosebumps and hair standing on end. «They have brought a unique show in the world,» she told this newspaper with a broad smile and still excited by what she had experienced.
After that, the food was provided by chef Ramón Feixas, who prepared a special menu for the occasion. The last moment to taste Granada in its splendor before the Summit ends and you return to your countries of origin.
The leaders of the 27 meet in Granada to debate key issues for the future of the EU, including enlargement, the migration problem and strategic autonomy. After the third meeting of the European Political Community was held the day before, which includes the EU countries and the majority of Europeans who are not part of that group, the heads of State and Government of the community club met to advance their reflection on the joint challenges that lie ahead. It is an informal summit, so it does not have decision-making power on the issues that will be addressed, but the signing of a declaration on them is expected. The acting President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, will act as host again as Spain holds the semi-annual presidency of the Council of the EU and hopes that Granada will be a turning point in the decisions that the EU will have to make later regarding the issues that will be present in the conversations. Enlargement is one of them, and although nothing concrete is expected in this regard, there is hope that a momentum will take shape so that the aspiration of several countries to join the EU becomes a reality.