«Don’t you remember that Rajoy entered the room and asked who was going to follow Draghi’s press conference?». As the level of Neno’s bottle was lowering, the three former close collaborators of the popular president raised their voices and laughter. On Thursday the Madrid heat was delirious and the Valdeorras white furrowed throats and loosened tongues with irresistible freshness. “It was August 2, 2012, the day that Mario Monti came to La Moncloa”, Íñigo Méndez de Vigo, then Secretary of State for the EU, recalled with amusement, before Carmen Martínez Castro, chief of staff of the Presidency, and a contained Fatima Banez.

The conversation had begun with “Müller’s article”, in reference to the column on the risks of repeating the euro crisis published that day in Abc. Méndez de Vigo, light suit and white hat, recalled how that August the Spanish-Italian lunch was interrupted to listen live to the then president of the ECB. Draghi had uttered the magic words for him the week before. He would do “whatever it takes to protect the euro and southern risk premiums. And Madrid and Rome expected him to specify the measures. However, he did not announce anything and sent a message to governments to start cuts if they wanted access to cheap financing. Merkel was not willing to let up.

The disappointment plunged Rajoy and Monti into a thick silence. Álvaro Nadal outlined thoughts about the meaning of life and Luis de Guindos, today vice president of the ECB, experienced, according to witnesses, a trance close to agony: «He began to say: ‘President, the stock market goes down and the premium goes up! risky! The Stock Market keeps going down!’».

Those present were amused by the gesture of the Italian Prime Minister. To the joy of Martínez Castro, Méndez de Vigo imitated him on Thursday with his arms crossed, silent and with his chin stuck in his double chin, like Mafalda sulking over a bowl of soup.

Between joke and joke, the conversation that the three former political leaders held in an Asian restaurant became dramatic at times. “That was not an attack against Spain and Italy, they wanted to knock down the euro.” But soon the laziness of rictus of those who today see the show from the amphitheater returned.

Rajoy, Monti and Merkel had been negotiating for months and no one trusted anyone. In a little-known passage, the chancellor went so far as to appoint an emissary who spoke perfect Spanish to make sure that the Spanish president understood all his messages. The Galician’s immobility made her doubt: she didn’t know if she didn’t understand her or if she was acting Swedish.

Peter Löscher, a very elegant Austrian, director of Telefónica and Deutsche Telekom, spoke and speaks Spanish since he worked as a director of Hoechst in Barcelona, ​​where he met his wife. In addition, he was fluent in German, French, English, Chinese and Japanese, so neither Rajoy nor anyone in the world could use translation problems to understand the Berlin guidelines. His visits to La Moncloa paved the way for the agreement on the bank bailout for Spain and help from the ECB.

In a month it will be a decade since the lunch whose happy ending was celebrated on Thursday by Rajoy’s collaborators and the risk premiums of Spain and Italy visit the headlines again. The markets distrust the transalpine debt much more than the Hispanic one, although the reason is reversible: they interpret that Pedro Sánchez’s populist adventure is ending, while they fear that a tambourine government will succeed Draghi.

The ECB has begun to act to relax financial tensions with some precaution. But the indicator that worries Sánchez the most is not the one that measures the interest on the 10-year bond, but rather the liter of gasoline. According to the futures markets, it can reach 2.80 euros in August. The key to making it cheaper is not in Frankfurt, but in Moscow, which is where the dirty diesel that is driving up all prices is refined.

Conforms to The Trust Project criteria