Source AP ©

Spanish prime minister has poetic gift

Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, Spanish Prime Minister, on Friday surprised 16 members of his Cabinet with an anthology of poems to commemorate "Book Day" celebration earlier this week.

Zapatero chose a book of poems by Spanish poet Antonio Machado who was one of the leading figures of the Spanish literary movement known as the Generation of '98.

Deputy Prime Minister Maria Teresa Fernandez de la Vega said Zapatero wanted to pay homage to Manchado's work and to the pleasure derived from reading.

"A country of citizens that read is a cultivated, mature and sensitive country," de la Vega said in the news conference after the weekly Cabinet meeting.

The April 23 date coincides with UNESCO's World Book Day to promote literature and commemorate Cervantes and English dramatist William Shakespeare, who both died on that date in 1616.

Machado is being remembered this year with different cultural activities in the city of Soria where he wrote, fell in love and lived from 1907-1912.