For the first time in its history, the European Parliament will have a Nativity Scene at its headquarters in Brussels this year. After years of trying, the tenacity of the popular Spanish MEP Isabel Benjumea has managed to get the bureaucracy of the institution to accept that during the Christmas period a nativity scene be installed in a preferential place, despite the fact that until now it had been impossible because it was considered ” potentially offensive” to non-believers. «When I arrived at the European Parliament in 2019, at Christmas I asked where the nativity scene was and they told me that it had never been put up. So I requested that they give me permission to give one to the institution, but I ran into the bureaucracy because there was no time to process it. The following year I began to process it ahead of time and then they clearly answered no because ‘it could be offensive’, which I found outrageous”, says Benjumea. She has managed to bring the prestigious Murcian artisan Jesús Griñán to Brussels to install the first Nativity scene in the history of the Eurocámara. Griñan has worked all his life making nativity scenes and founded his own family business in 1952. Since then he has set up nativity scenes in many parts of the world, from Japan to many countries in Europe. “We could have brought it from many other places in Spain or the world, because there are nativity scenes throughout Europe and in America, but we have taken into account that in Murcia there is a great tradition of nativity scene crafts.” Related news standard No The European Parliament declares Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism Enrique Serbeto The resolution focuses on denouncing all the atrocities committed by the Russian Army not only in Ukraine, but in Chechnya and Syria The current president of Parliament, the popular Maltese Roberta Metsola , has given the push to the project that his predecessor, the Italian socialist David Sassoli, did not dare to give, despite the fact that he always declared himself a believer and practitioner. “For me – says Benjumea – this had become a kind of crusade because it seemed unacceptable to ignore the Christian roots of Europe or to ignore a majority of the European population that celebrates Christmas as the commemoration of the birth of Jesus Christ”. Until now, the only aesthetic manifestation of Christmas is the installation of a tree that is traditionally given as a gift by the delegation of Austrian MEPs. The nativity scene is now sponsored by Spanish MEPs from the Popular Party and it is intended that the tradition be maintained for the future. This week it begins to be installed in the great hall of the third floor of the Eurochamber headquarters, it will be inaugurated on the 30th of this month and will remain until the end of Christmas. This is not a personal initiative of an MEP, who has the right to promote an artistic exhibition or dissemination of their home regions, but is considered a “special” activity just like the decoration of the Christmas tree that Austria gives away. The perspective is good for the nativity scene to also become a tradition in the European Parliament, unless there are deputies who -in effect- insist on proclaiming that the Nativity scene seems “offensive”.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism