Sun. Dec 5th, 2021


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The mayor of Gijón has announced that the City Council will not extend the concession contract for the El Bibio bullring -it was possible to do so for one more year, 2022- and that from now on it will not put out to tender the organization of bullfighting shows in the gijonés arena, which is municipally owned. The legality of that decision -competence of the mayor’s office as a contracting body, as Ana González underlined- does not prevent it from being a serious political error whose effects, in the form of an expansive wave, remain to be seen. And it reveals a manifest instability of judgment in the mayor, because the day before yesterday she argued, against all evidence, and with inadmissible accusations of lying to those who disagreed, that the rule of separation between people had been met during the bullfights of the recent fair of Begoña, and just 24 hours later he seizes on a fearsome pretext, the names of three of the cattle fought on Sunday, August 15 – ‘Feminist’, one, and ‘Nigerian’ the other two – as casus belli to prevent in fact that from now on there are bulls in Gijón. By now you should know that these names, which without any work can be considered unfortunate, are not an improvisation, but were inherited at birth, four years ago, from their respective mothers. Years ago, a bull named ‘Marqués’ was fought in El Bibio, with the former president of the Principality Sergio Marqués in the square, who took it with good humor and was applauded by the public.

It is not uncommon for bulls to be dealt with names that can be described as inappropriate (‘Gitano’, ‘Asturiano’, ‘Republicano’, ‘Italiano’) an exercise in bad taste that does not justify, but explains that this kind of denomination, without a doubt reprehensible It is not new or exclusive to the three Cuatreños whose names are used as a battering ram to initiate hostilities against the bulls in Gijón.

Sitting in this way that the initial argument is futile, banal, inconsistent, to put an end to a centuries-old custom, rooted in the town since 1888, neither does it stand that the mayor then bases its decision on the opposition or disaffection to the bulls that it says appreciate in a social majority of the people of Gijón. It is a free assessment, without scientific basis, which would only be demonstrable with a consultation of the population, a swampy terrain, because the popular acceptance of making a millionaire investment with public money in a sports facility, El Molinón, is not measured either. give it away for free to a private company, Sporting, SAD, which pays its senior employees – footballers, technicians and advisers – unattainable salaries for ordinary people. In this way, the absurd can be reached.

What beats in the abolitionist intention of the mayor is a political or ideological drive. He has done the PSOE a disservice by citing him in this regard. There are fans of right-wing and left-wing bulls. Also in the PSOE, as was Enrique Múgica Herzog, to cite a personality close in time. And Lorca was paraded at the same time as two anarchist banderilleros. In the south of civilized and democratic France the rise of bullfighting is remarkable. And almost always with the help of the municipalities.

The mayor of Gijón has got into another puddle. After tolerating, among others, the breach of the concession contract of the square, translated into the 22% increase in the price of the seats, it comes to the fore of national news with a decision that, although it seems otherwise, does not end with the bulls in Gijón. Opposing these designs corresponds to the savvy fans, because it is certain that the devotees of the gin and tonic who only have the bullring as a place for drinking are not going to do so.

The bulls are a legal spectacle that no mayoress can prohibit and that we will see here, until May 2023, the month of local elections. Meanwhile, refrain from troubled river saviors. Right there, 28 kilometers away, in Oviedo, mayors of the PP put an end to the bulls, first by giving away tickets, and then by remaining impassive while the Buenavista arena was ruined. Canteli has said it, he does not want bulls in Oviedo.

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