"Javier Solana left his post as head of the Foreign Policy of the EU on 1 December, but his spokeswoman for fourteen years, Cristina Gallach, still gets calls from reporters on the Iranian nuclear negotiations and the position of the Twenty-seven towards Tehran.
It has got out that Solana is no longer in Brussels, but they still consider her 'companion' of international diplomacy as a benchmark.
For years, the Barcelona and former correspondent has been nothing but a spokeswoman. The Financial Times chose her last year as one of the thirty most influential people in the community policy, and she acknowledges that will never be satisfied with making a loudspeaker.
"I was trying to influence where he could" account Gallach, which debuts with the New Year as a spokesperson for the Spanish Presidency in office in Brussels.
In the midst of change and confusion, with the new charges from the EU and the reduced role of the rotating presidency, Gallach help to "smooth transition" but says he will "modestly" because now they touch on issues that are not part of his "natural tendency".
The Spanish Government has, in fact, just foreign policy powers in Europe this semester, according to the new Lisbon Treaty, which divided this responsibility among the new European Council President, Herman Van Rompuy, and the Solana successor, most powerful Catherine Ashton.
Still, even those working in Madrid for the presidency have to recognize that this spokesman is a "luxury" or a guarantee that there will be gaffes, at least on this front, the international press. "Thank goodness, that there is Cristina" is a phrase repeated on and off the 'device' president.
Gallach has carved a niche among reporters, officials and diplomats after nearly two decades in Brussels, where he arrived as a correspondent for Agencia EFE after passing through Moscow and other Eastern countries as sent by 'El Periódico'.
She met Solana when he was foreign minister of Spain, just over the presidency of 1995 and at a very turbulent time for the Balkan wars.
"I spent the day sniffing into NATO," says the reporter who gave the exclusive news that Solana would be appointed secretary general of the Alliance. That detail has finally convinced the Spaniard, who, despite preferring to work with men, asked her to be his spokeswoman.
History, up close
Passionate of International Relations, that she had studied at Columbia University in New York, she had no doubt that history would see even more closely.
So began an intense professional relationship in 1999 when she moved to the EU and that, as Gallach remembers, required working "all day, all night, every day of the year."
While Solana is the reputed leader capable of absorbing mourn of their colleagues, the spokeswoman devotes only good words. "What matters is the result ... We understand ... I'm here for whatever you want," she says of her former boss, who is still sending messages..."