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lunes, abril 11

El maletín de Gladstone

(Leído en la columna de Pablo Rodríguez Suanzes en el suplemento económico de El Mundo del 4 de octubre de 2010) Cada país o institución presenta sus presupuestos de forma diferente. La UE, por ejemplo, opta por el paternalismo al decir que "Utilizando anualmente sólo un 1% de su riqueza, la UE construye nuestro futuro común. Los británicos, más sobrios, se limitan a indicar que "el presupuesto es la declaración financiera anual del Reino Unido, incluyendo una revisión de los niveles impositivos y el anuncio de los planes de gastos". En Londres, por cierto, el ministro de economía o Chancellor of the Exchequer, utiliza la Gladstone Box, un maletín utilizado desde 1860, para llevar su discurso el Budget Day, una jornada especial y cargada de peculiares tradiciones. Algunas de estas se leen en quezi.com: There are many traditions connected with Parliament, and Budget Day is no exception. It is traditional that the Chancellor takes a photo opportunity standing outside his house at 11 Downing Street holding up a red leather case which contains his speech and papers relating to the Budget. The case is known as the Budget Box, or at one time, the Gladstone Box after the original box which was first used by William Gladstone in the 1860s. This original box served for over 100 years but was becoming very battered and marked. In 1997, Gordon Brown, the then Chancellor, broke with the tradition and commissioned a new box which was made by four apprentices from Babcock Rosyth Defence Ltd., a ship and submarine dockyard in Fife. His new box was covered in scarlet leather and embossed with the Royal initials and crest and the Chancellor's title. Another tradition is that the Chancellor is the only person permitted to drink alcohol in the House of Commons while he is giving his speech. Not that M.P.s drink in the House of Commons now, but they did during the Victorian period. During their speeches, Gladstone drank sherry and beaten egg, and Disraeli brandy and water. More recently, Gordon Brown drank natural Scottish mineral water. The other tradition is for all UK citizens to moan about the increase of income tax, and taxes on beer, wines, and car fuel. (Creo que esa tradición está muy extendida por otros países, también :-))

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