The Minister of Industry, Tourism and Trade, Héctor Gómez, believes that bringing forward the elections is an “exercise in responsibility”, although he did not say whether he will be on the Socialists’ list for the province of Santa Cruz de Tenerife for the Congress of Deputies.
“I think it is also an exercise in responsibility so that the will of all Spaniards is reflected at the ballot box and that we want to clear up any doubts about the will of the Spanish people as a whole,” he said during an interview on ‘Buenos días, Canarias’ on the Canarian Television, in which he also denied that the elections could have an impact on tourism.
Gómez, who defended the central government’s management of having to take on “titanic challenges” such as the pandemic and the war in Ukraine, said that after the elections on 28 May, in certain autonomous communities, such as the Canary Islands, “the Socialist Party will win the elections”.
However, he criticised how “some elected councillors are already talking about a desire for change in some municipalities when the PSOE has won in that municipality, although not with an absolute majority”.
In any case, he said that the party is analysing what has happened because they are “aware and aware of the results in all” the communities, although he pointed out that other parties on the left also have to analyse these results because the PSOE’s will “is to continue projecting socialist, progressive policies and is leading the way in Europe”.
On what will change for Pedro Sánchez to win the general elections on 23 July, he stressed that the PSOE is the party that “has governed Spain for the longest time, that has structured the welfare state”, adding that “there are data that are no coincidence. If Spain is twice the European average in economic growth, it is because there is good management in this country. If it is at the bottom of the inflation rate in the European Union, it is because it is being well managed”.
He added that the data published this Friday on job creation and the 20.8 million people affiliated to social security, “beating historical records, is because Spain is in a very good economic framework”.
He also explained that in tourism, even surpassing the pre-pandemic data, in the first four months of 2023, in the month of April, there has been the “best historical series of visitors and spending at the destination. More than 20 percent of spending in destination Spain compared to 2019, the pre-pandemic year. In other words, things are going well.
However, he considered that they must “project and communicate to the public much better everything” they do, they have to “refine much more” in communication, since he pointed out that in front of them “unfortunately” what there is “is a destructive policy”, ensuring that he as parliamentary spokesman in the Congress of Deputies has experienced the “disqualification, the populist and easy message, compared to the lack of a country’s project”.
“I have not seen in the Congress of Deputies the alternative to the main opposition party putting forward constructive proposals for Spain”, he added, pointing to the president of the Community of Madrid, Isabel Díaz Ayuso, indicating that what she does “is attack” the President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, with a discourse that is “very extremely simple, without a management project”.
For this reason, she has defended an agreement and an understanding on the part of the formations of the left because the dispersion of the vote “does not help” to subsequently form majorities and stable governments.
THE PSOE PARTY HAS “GREAT ASSETS”
Gómez has not clarified whether he will be the Socialist Party’s candidate for Congress for the province of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, although he has admitted that he has spoken to people in the PSOE in the Canary Islands. He also added that “it is very early days” but he showed his respect for the will of the party both in the archipelago and at the federal level.
“In any case, the PSOE has great assets in the Canary Islands and throughout Spain to face these elections with guarantees of success”, he added, affirming that he has “always” been at the disposal of his party.
WHO WILL GOVERN THE CANARY ISLANDS – TOURISM AND OTHER ISSUES
On who will govern the Canary Islands in the next four years, the Minister of Tourism stressed that if there has been a “regional president who has had to manage difficulties, it has been Ángel Víctor Torres” – pandemic, bankruptcy of Tomás Cook, tourist crisis, fires, the volcano on La Palma – and he considered that he has managed it “successfully”, which is why he understands that “he has earned the right to form a government” and admits that he would like him to continue as president of the Canary Islands.
However, he added that “everything seems to indicate that the parties that have not won the elections are working to reach an agreement”, adding that the PSOE in the Canary Islands and in Spain as a whole “is always open to reaching governability agreements”.
Lastly, he criticised the proposal for cascade pacts, as he believes that “it is a blunder” to work in this direction, because what is “important are the policies, not the politicians in the shaping of governability agreements”.