Congress reopens its doors to citizens

It is open day in the Congress of Deputies, the first since the pandemic began, and some are expected to 4,000 people Pass through the iconic Puerta de los Leones throughout the day. But the reopening to the public, on the occasion of the Constitution Day that is celebrated next Monday, has had to be done differently from other years: by appointment and without the classic chocolate to warm the attendees, with the obligatory nature of the masks and with a shorter route.

The president of Congress, Meritxell Batet, various members of the Board and representatives of the PSOE, PP, Vox and Ciudadanos have mainly welcomed the first citizens who have attended the Lower House on Friday after in 2020 the evolution of the coronavirus will force Congress to suspend activity, which was launched in 1997 with Federico Trillo as president of the Congress.

At 09.30 hours, and as is usually tradition, Batet has opened wide the Door of the Lions, where the first 50 people were already waiting (about fifty people who pass every 15 minutes in an orderly manner). And the fact is that the almost 4,000 appointments offered were sold out in a week since the initiative was launched on the institution’s website.

The first to enter the Palace of Congress have been a young couple who have been waiting since eight in the morning. An hour and a half later they have been able to step on the Lobby of Isabel II, where Batet, vice presidents Ana Pastor (PP), Gloria Elizo (United We Can) and Ignacio Gil Lázaro (Vox) and secretaries Sofía Hernanz (PSOE) and Adolfo Suárez Illana (PP) were waiting for him.

Along with them were also the spokesmen of the PSOE; Héctor Gómez; from the PP, Cuca Gamarra; from Vox, Iván Espinosa de los Monteros; and from Ciudadanos, Edmundo Bal, as well as a large group of deputies from those parties, who did not want to miss the opportunity to greet the first visitors from provinces such as Soria, Ávila, Tarragona or Barcelona.

“It is the third time I come and next year I will repeat”

“It is the third time I come and I love it and next year I will repeat,” Mario, a 23-year-old young man from Madrid, told Efe, who coincides with other visitors after visiting the hemicycle that “It’s smaller than it looks on TV”. Another eleven-year-old girl also pointed out that Congress “is very cool”, while another young woman who has come from Malaga and who was also visiting him for the first time was excited to see the deputies because “that’s when you realize that they are people. “

“I like that they have opened the doors for us see where the laws are dictated “, another citizen who approached to speak with the PSOE spokesman, Héctor Gómez, had an impact.

“We have the responsibility to bring institutions closer to citizens“, said Batet in interviews in RNE and in TVE. The president of Parliament has also launched a message in a political key and has said that” one of the most important things is surely to preserve the institutional framework of democratic countries ” because “defending institutions is defending democracy.”

Batet, at the Congress open day: “We have the responsibility to bring institutions closer to citizens”

And in statements to journalists, the president of the Chamber has expressed his joy at being able to reopen, albeit with limitations, the doors of Congress to citizens, whom you have seen “excited” for visiting the different rooms of the house. And he stressed that the “great interest” of citizens in knowing the “guts” of Congress has been made manifest.

The mornings of RNE with Íñigo Alfonso – Batet defends the operation of Congress during the state of alarm: “We went through very complicated situations” – Listen now

Speaking to journalists, the Socialist spokesman, Hector Gomez, who ‘premiered’ in these Days, has celebrated as “a good sign” that citizens know the Congress and has revealed that many with whom he has spoken in the hemicycle have asked him how they voted or who sat in each chair.

The PP spokesperson, Cuca Gamarra, has remarked that people “need institutions close to” and that citizens are “aware” that the pillars of “democracy” are “freedom, justice, equality and political plurality.”

The tour of the visit and virtual alternative

And is that The Plenary Hall is the room of the Chamber that is usually the most attractive year after year for visitors and it is the setting where, as every year, citizens tend to interact more with their representatives.

The citizens’ journey through Congress begins at the Puerta de los Leones, from where they access the main Lobby or Vestibule of Isabel II. In this space is exhibited a copy of the Constitution of 1812 made by the Cortes of Cádiz and guarded by the Carrara marble statue, the work of Josep Piquer i Duart, of the Queen who inaugurated, in 1850, the Palace of the Courts.

From there, visitors go to the Conference Room, known as Hall of Lost Stepss. In this room, the vault with four allegories, the work of Vicente Camarón, and the medallions that represent the most important politicians of the 19th century stand out. In addition, in this room institutional visits are received and other events are held, such as the reception of the Constitution Day.

They then visit the Hemicycle or Sessions Hall, where you can see the paintings ‘El ouramento de las Cortes de Cádiz’, and ‘María de Molina presenting her son before the Cortes de Valladolid’, as well as the traces of the shots that took place during the attempted coup on February 23, 1981.

Already on the first floor of the Palace, visitors enter the Mariana Pineda Room, chaired by the painting ‘Mariana Pineda en Capilla’, by Vera Calvo, and then they tour the Gallery of Portraits of Presents of the Congress.

Next, they can discover the new space enabled in the basement of the Palace, which hosts an exhibition on Clara Campoamor for the 90th anniversary of the female vote and another on the Constitutions that have governed our country, where the visit will end.

As an alternative, from Congress they have included the option that citizens can make the visit virtually. It will be available in the Chamber website, through which each user can enter the Palace on a personalized guided tour. The visit can also take place in augmented reality with VR devices (Virtual Reality), being accessible to people with disabilities.

Likewise, the website and the institutional profiles on social networks (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube) will serve as a platform for the broadcast of thethe audiovisual signal of the Conference in streaming and also of contents prepared especially for these days dedicated to discovering curiosities of the history and heritage of the Parliament.

Related Posts

George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *