The small bar in Calle de Fortuny in Madrid’s city centre is crowded, as are many others these days. The people of Madrid don’t miss the chance to go out with friends. And yet everything is different since the weekend: Once again it has become quiet in the streets, and the normally lively Spanish capital has been closed off. According to the World Health Organisation WHO, 850 cases per 100,000 inhabitants have once again made the region the epicentre of the pandemic in Europe. Spain currently counts 32,000 corona deaths and 800,000 corona cases, almost forty percent of which are reported in Madrid. The second wave has hit the city with full force. Thousands of jobs in hotels, restaurants, flower shops and travel agencies are disappearing. The pandemic is hitting Spain not only in the geographical sense, but right in the heart.Continue reading
Family get-togethers are usually an occasion for heartfelt reunions, swapping news, forging plans, and often welcoming new members. The gathering in Madrid, where more than a thousand European liberals met for the annual ALDE Congress, was no exception. Following stations in Warsaw and Amsterdam, this time the event was hosted by the Spanish Ciudadanos (Cs). The strategic groundwork was laid for the upcoming European election campaign. The fifty-page platform left no doubt that the ALDE family — a coalition with a membership of more than 60 parties — would be tackling an impressive workload over the course of its two-and-a-half-day Congress.