Alfonso Fernandez Manueco is one of those who walk the street, but not with great strides, but stopping at each step and responding to the greeting of the people without more hesitation than that imposed by the pandemic circumstance.
Those who accompany him know that it would be foolish to make him run after other occupations when the primary thing is that merchant who raises the blind at dawn or the father who stops him on the way to school.
LA RAZÓN has recreated with its team the biography of the President of the Community of Castilla and León and his day to day while he prepares his re-election for February 13.
He sleeps a few hours, but wakes up with energy and good spirits. He is a gentleman and, as such, he practices the culture of good manners, knowing where he stands at all times and having a good nature that makes him approachable, but never flattering.
He is not a friend of lies or noise. His thing is the calm oratory, the firm look and that Castilian character that dictates how to combine passion, tenacity and willpower.
Although he has roots in Valladolid and Palencia, born and raised in Salamanca, the city where he lives and where he fell in love in the classrooms of the old Faculty of Law, a building with great character in keeping with the historic architecture of the University of Salamanca.
Here he met Serafina (Fina) Martín Lozano, his wife, and Cupid could not shoot with better accuracy. Immediately the roneos began in those little streets around San Esteban, the Patio de Escuelas or the Torre del Clavero that inspired Carmen Martín Gaite her novel “Entre visillos”.
The Lame Manteca
The couple then sensed a first love that would last a lifetime. Those were the years of the student revolts in protest against the educational policy of the socialist minister José María Maravall. With Cojo Manteca as a media star, that was not the French May, but it looked like it.
In the law classrooms the accent of these protests was less combative. Not even the charismatic Roman Law professor Alfredo Calonge interrupted his classes, nor did the Santa Bárbara chapel stop receiving visits from students asking him to intercede in their exams.
To God praying, with the deck of cards giving. There was little more sacred than the games of mus in the cafeteria on the ground floor of the building.
At that time, Mañueco tested his ability to please people and tie them to a cause. At the age of 18, he had joined New Generations of the PP and shortly after founded the Salamanca Student Association.
He already had that seductive, contagious and frank impulse that he learned from his father Marcelo, also a lawyer and mayor of Salamanca between 1969 and 1971.
Although he trained for a time with Dominican friars, they deny us that his father came to take the habits. He is the youngest of eight siblings, three of them deceased, just like his parents. His mother Pilar died in January 2015 at the age of 90. It was a fundamental support in his life and he remembers it in his networks with a tender image.
These family foundations are transferred to politics as an inescapable value for the progress of a country, this very week his daughter Ana, graduated in Law and opposition, she was celebrating her 25th birthday and the president could not repress the emotion before his team due to the pride and magnitude of paternity.
His youngest daughter, Loreto, is 21 years old. and is equally involved in the political life of the father.
Mañueco’s wife, Fina, is the daughter of José Martín, better known as Pepe Villares, who served as mayor of Villares de la Reina for 45 years. Despite being men of character and strong convictions, they guarantee us that there was never a clash of egos.
Father-in-law and son-in-law knew how to gain absolute trust. Fina works as a civil servant in the City Council of Villoria, a few kilometers from Salamanca, and, despite the family’s political burden, has managed to maintain a more than discreet profile.
Beneath that unshakable tenacity that leads him to direct without hesitation, arousing always polarizing emotions in the political class, the president hides a warm heart.
“It is accessible, affable and very exquisite in the ways -they tell us-. You will never see him raise his voice or lose his temper.” Everything about him is genuine, even his impeccable classic style of dress. His advisers have never thought it necessary to suggest a change to him.
Genuine is also his controlled hedonism to enjoy Castilian-Leonese traditions and everything with a flavor of the land, from the bacon montaditos to the forceful stew dishes, such as lentils with chorizo or meneás potatoes.
To smooth his digestion and organize his thoughts, he takes take long walks around the city or along the banks of the River Tormes. He almost always comes out in the late afternoon, when the sky begins to turn languid and the cathedral, in the background, exudes magic.
Salamanca, wise, literary and youthful, is a city of contrasts. Also in the weather. The right to kick was born in it, when the students hit the ground with their feet to try to circumvent the cold winter of Salamanca.
In this landscape Hemingway would have found another piece of heaven: a bullring with two tickets for life and a river of trout. Mañueco is also passionate about bullfighting. He maintains an excellent relationship with El Viti and admired Julio Robles and El Niño de la Capea. He is also a soccer fan and made his childhood first steps as a futsal goalkeeper.
He is as loyal to Real Madrid as he is to the political party that saw him grow his beard. At home, enjoy watching movies or series and reading as a family. He is unconditional of Tarantino, the music of the eighties and Mario Vargas Llosa. His last readings have been “The goat party” and Rajoy’s latest book, “Politics for adults”.
We are used to seeing him at big events, but those little moments help us to know his identity and his human quality and to know why he walks straight in his convictions. He assumes the weeks ahead with enthusiasm because “Spain – he assures – is at stake a lot”. He bets big and his desire is to win big.
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