ABC.es: nacional - nacional - Los Reyes y los Príncipes suplen las ausencias de Zapatero en el exterior
The Kings and the Princes compensate the Zapatero's absences in the exterior
MADRID. Their Majesties the Kings and Their Highness Royal the Princes of Asturias realized during the last year, in representation of Spain, a whole of 37 trips to one treintena of countries, in which they have crossed more than 300.000 kilometres, approximately eight times the return to the world, according to information facilitated by the services of press of the House of the King.
The intense activity developed in the exterior by Don Juan Carlos and Dona Sofía, together with whom they have opened Don Felipe and Dona Letizia to cover bilateral visits or to be present at summits and international events contrasts with the scanty presence of the prime minister, Jose Luis Rodríguez Zapatero abroad, almost limited to expiring with the multilateral unavoidable commitments.
A few years ago, the normal thing was that the Kings realized, at most, two visits of State abroad and some official visit more, to that several were added of the Prince of Asturias. Now, since it can be estimated in the information that, for the first time the House of the King has delivered compiled to the journalists, the exterior activity of the Kings and of the Inheritor of the Wreath has grown sensitively, while Zapatero goes out of Spain almost descontentedly because his head is more occupied in the internal problems.
The best ambassador
The absence of the chief of the Executive in the international forums has taken the secretary of International Relations of the PP, Jorge Moragas, to qualifying his exterior agenda of "very poor", and to assuring that " Zapatero has been autoexcluded from the western conciliation ".
In any case, the increase of international activity of the Royal Family is a direct consequence of the idea expressed by the Government that Don Juan Carlos is the best ambassador of Spain abroad. Certainly, the King enjoys a prestige out of Spain that difficultly the prime minister can aspire to reach, be the one who is, but in political means it thinks that there is a serious disproportion between this increase of the presence of the Kings and the Princes and the Zapatero's limited activity beyond our borders. So much it is so, some observers of the exterior politics near to the Zarzuela, do not hesitate to affirm that Don Juan Carlos is acting of "lightningrod" of the prime minister or of the minister of Foreign Affairs.
The certain thing is that the countries visited by the Kings and the Prince are situated in the zones of preferential interest for the exterior Spanish politics: the European Union, Latin America, Maghrib, Middle East and some destinies in Asia, as China or Vietnam, or in Africa.
Even, during the past Latin-American Summit in Montevideo last November, don Juan Carlos offered to develop his good offices in the search of an exit to the contentious one that Argentina and Uruguay support for a few factories of cellulose. On her part, Dona Sofía visited in April Senegal, the country of which there goes out most of the clandestine immigration that comes to Spain in fishing-boats. Zapatero would travel eight months later to Dakar.
The Kings realized visits of State or official visits to Vietnam, Thailand, France, Jordan, Norway, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Besides, Don Juan Carlos, after the Latin-American Summit of Uruguay, visited Paraguay, without Dona Sofía's accompaniment, which was sick, suffering from a flu. Equally, the King travelled to Morocco to have lunch with Mohamed the VIth and to Hungary, in 50 anniversary of the Revolution of 1956. On her part, the Queen travelled to Thailand, Norway, Senegal and Cape Verde.
As for the Prince of Asturias, he travelled - in the majority of the occasions, accompanied of Dona Letizia - to Kuwait, El Salvador, Bulgaria, Italy, China, Germany, Colombia, The United States and Mexico. Likewise, Don Felipe continued with his labor of representation of Spain in captures of possession of new presidents in Latin-American countries, which took him to Bolivia, Honduras, Portugal, Chile, Costa Rica, Peru, Colombia and Mexico.
On his part, Zapatero, during the first half of the year limited his exits to the international appointments at which he could not stop being present. Only in July he risked to realize a bilateral visit to the India, which besides met obliged to shorten, leaving her in little more than 24 hours, to return to Spain and to be present in the funeral for the victims of the tragic accident of the underground in Valencia.
Sprint at the end of the year
The prime minister followed most of the year occupied in internal matters, and only in last two months - November and December - it reached certain " speed of cruise " in his displacements on the outside, with stays in Montevideo (Latin-American Summit), Riga (Summit of the NATO), Istanbul and New York (Alliance of Civilizations), Algiers (Meeting of High Level with Algeria), Brussels (summit of the EU) and Senegal (bilateral visit).
This travelling fervor of end of year allowed to the Secretariat of State of Communication to spread an information underlining that the prime minister had realized, during 2006, 12 international official trips.
In the year that begins, while Zapatero continues having very a few dates compromised to travel on the outside, the calendar of the Kings and of the Princes already starts to being loaded with appointments. The keynote so, it continues being the same.
In fact, Don Felipe already has crossed two times the Atlantic Ocean to be present at the captures of possession of new president of Nicaragua, Daniel Ortega; and Ecuador, Rafael Correa.
In the first part of February, while Dona Sofía travels to Indonesia and Cambodia, Don Juan Carlos will move to Germany.
Visits of State
Later, for March they are programmed a visit of State to Algeria and the presence of the Kings in the World Congress of The Language, in Colombia, which will have continuation with the visits to Guatemala and El Salvador.
Besides, for later on one is employed at the concretion of the dates of a visit of His Majesties to Luxembourg and other one to China, always before the summer. After the summer pause, the Princes have foreseen to travel to the India.