August 28, 2012
A Falcon jet of the Spanish government (photo) has taken today (28 August) Council President Herman Van Rompuy from Seville, where he is on holidays, to Madrid, when he will meet Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy. The meeting actually takes place just now, as I’m publishing this blogpost.
And of course, the same jet will take him back to Seville.
There is a very good AVE high speed train connection between Seville and Madrid, the project having been largely financed by the EU. And a lot of AVE trains travelling from Seville to Madrid and back (I checked the schedule; the tourist price is between €80 and €100). A similar journey with the government-owned Falcon has recently cost €15.000 in one direction only.
Why then sending a Falcon to Seville to pick up Van Rompuy? As the Barcelona daily La Vanguardia writes, “that what Falcons are for’ (Los Falcón están para eso.)
Spain may be almost broke, but it has five such Falcons. And Rajoy wants Van Rompuy to convey his message when he meets on 4 September in Berlin with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and on 5 September with French President François Hollande in Paris, in the hope of obtaining a ‘gentle’ bailout (un rescate blando). There is no free Falcon ride.