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Fri Jul 17, 2020, 11:11 AM

Spain pays tribute to coronavirus victims and workers at state event

*Imagine if we had a real president - this is what they would have done for America...

(Al Jazeera) Spain has paid tribute to the nation's victims of the new coronavirus and workers who put their lives at risk during the worst of the pandemic with a solemn state ceremony in Madrid.

Relatives of about 100 people who died during the pandemic, representatives of medical personnel,police and other essential workers on Thursday joined King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia, government members and officials from the European Union and the World Health Organization at an esplanade in Madrid's Royal Palace.

The guests, masked and seated in a socially distanced fashion surrounding a central cauldron, included representatives from a dozen religious organisations and ambassadors. The ceremony was shown live on television and online.

In an emotional speech, Hernando Calleja said he was sharing the pain of the loss of his brother Jose Maria, a well-known journalist and writer in Madrid, with other relatives of "anonymous" victims.

"Let's not forget that the coronavirus was and continues to be a cold, cruel and wrecking executioner," Calleja said.

Aroa Lopez, a nurse from the Vall d'Hebron hospital in Barcelona, spoke representing workers in hospitals, health centres and laboratories, at least 52,600 of whom have been diagnosed with COVID-19.

She also remembered truck drivers, cleaners and thousands of others who "took care of the millions of Spaniards who were confined".

After telling how some health workers made video calls between relatives and dying patients, or held the hands of those who did not want to die alone, she urged politicians to protect the public health system.

"Who will take care of us if the person who takes care of us cannot do it? Let us never forget the lesson learned," she said.

As a live performance of string music took over from the words, attendees left white roses by the cauldron.

The country's monarch praised the citizens' response to the outbreak and called for responsible behaviour in fighting the virus.

"We have a moral obligation to always recognise and respect the dignity of the deceased and a civic duty to promote the best values that underlie our society," Felipe VI said before the ceremony came to an end with a minute of silence.

All Spanish political parties attended the state tribute except for the far-right Vox, whose leader has called the event an "act of propaganda" and "an exculpatory ceremony" for the left-wing ruling coalition led by Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez.

Spain has officially recorded 28,413 patients who died after testing positive for the COVID-19 disease, although excess mortality figures suggest the actual figure is thousands higher.

The country is grappling with dozens of fresh outbreaks after it emerged from a strict lockdown last month.


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Reply Spain pays tribute to coronavirus victims and workers at state event (Original post)
FM123 Jul 17 OP
Thyla Jul 17 #1

Response to FM123 (Original post)

Fri Jul 17, 2020, 01:19 PM

1. "The country is grappling with dozens of fresh outbreaks after it emerged from a strict lockdown"

This tells you all you need to know, its not over yet.

Im fuming at the way the Spanish government is handling this. Basically open for business to the rest of Europe at the moment.
My wife is supposed to be back at work September 1 and now for the first time one of her collegues is in isolation with a family member who tested positive because they thought it wise to bring the family from Belgium to Spain for a get together.

This aint done, Im fed up and want to leave but realistically cant for the forseeable future until this shit is under control.

Sorry, I know others have it worse and it pains me what the world is going through right now. Just needed a little rant.

Stay safe all.

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