150 politicians and business people dine together on second night of curfew

"El Español" newspaper's awards ceremony goes ahead despite curfew

The President of the Spanish Government, Pedro Sánchez, asked all citizens on Friday to take "maximum responsibility" and leave their homes as little as possible to avoid close contact with other people who are not part of their bubble. Two days later, the Spanish government applied a curfew throughout Spain, which in Catalonia has materialised in restrictions from 10pm to 6am and in the Madrid area from midnight to 6am. In this context, during the second night of curfew, 150 personalities from the political and business elite have dined together at the Casino de Madrid as part of the awards ceremony organised by the online newspaper El Español.

The party was attended by the Minister of Health, Salvador Illa; the leader of the opposition, Pablo Casado; and the leader of Ciudadanos, Inés Arrimadas, as well as a number of the government ministers. In some of the photos of the ceremony, you can see some of the politicians and businessmen took off their masks. As if it were a wedding, the dinner was organised around tables made up of six people - the maximum allowed for private meetings - in a large room.

Tables of six people but in a room with 150

El Español claims the event was held with restricted access in order to respect all the Covid protocols, but judging by the images and taking into account the lunches and informative meals that were held in this same room before the pandemic, there is no more difference than the fact that there are a maximum of six people at the tables.

Also in attendance were the Minister of Defense, Margarita Robles; the Minister of Justice, Juan Carlos Campo; and the Minister of Culture, José Manuel Rodríguez Uribes. The main opposition party, the rightwing People's Party, was also present: former minister and president of Congress Ana Pastor, general secretary Teodoro García Egea, president of the Community of Madrid Isabel Díaz Ayuso and the Madrid mayor José Luis Martínez-Almeida were all present. The Attorney General, Dolores Delgado, also attended, as did Félix Bolaños, Secretary General of the Presidency of the Spanish Government.

As for the business world, construction magnate and Real Madrid president Florentino Pérez, executive director of communication of Caixabank Mamen Vázquez, director of Corte Inglés Cristina Álvarez Guil, president of Vodafone Spain Antonio Coimbra, and president and CEO of Naturgy Francisco Reynés were all present.

Criticism on social media

The event is attracting criticism on social media. ERC spokesperson in Congress, Gabriel Rufián, has censored it in a tweet, commenting on the way young people and partying are criminalised are blamed for the spread of the virus.

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