European Identity

Yesterday former mayor and Europarliamentarian Pedro Aparicio came to talk to my students. Pedro was mayor from 1979 to 1995 and played a fundamental role in transforming Málaga into the modern city it is today. He is widely admired for his integrity and dedication. And better yet, he is gracious, charming, and always willing to be helpful. (See 4/2/08 entry.) I was supposed to participate with him in a round table session dedicated to the Biblioteca de Autores Malagueños, but am going to have to miss it because I had already committed to going to Madrid for an APUNE meeting. In any case, he addressed the topic of European identity-its possibilities, limitations, etc. It was a great honor to have Pedro with us and he gave an excellent, informative lecture. (One of his better lines, that I fear left the students rather perplexed, was "Europe is Kant.") It's clear that Pedro has become rather pessimistic regarding the "construction of Europe" and the referendum defeat in France on the European Constitution was a great disappointment to him. A few of the students had some excellent questions at the end of the lecture and their contributions were quite gratifying. Afterwards Asun, Pedro and I headed back to the Malagueta to meet with Juvenal and his friends at the Maestranza prior to the presentation of Juvenal's Compañeros de viaje. That presentation went nicely and was well attended. Juvenal read several sonnets, including one he dedicated to me.