Alex Valdivia (Palma, 1966) is the Ciudadanos candidate for the presidency of the Consell de Mallorca facing the upcoming elections on May 28. An economist by profession, Valdivia was chosen as head of the list of the orange formation, replacing Osvaldo Cifre, who resigned from his post in mid-April. In this interview for OKDIARIO, the CS candidate defends greater control of illegal tourist places, the implementation of a toll for vehicles that are not from the Balearic Islands.
In addition, he stresses reducing the political weight of the institutions in the community and proposes returning to the election system prior to 2007. Despite what the polls predict, he is optimistic and trusts in the “brave vote of people who feel liberal ». “Our goal is to be decisive and condition the way we govern,” says Valdivia, who recently announced that she is undergoing cancer treatment.
Question.- What are your main proposals for the Consell de Mallorca?
Answer.- In terms of tourism, fight against illegal supply. There is a lot of talk about its growth, but we have not been able to tackle one of the main problems, which is those 20,000 illegal accommodation places, which do not pay taxes, which have no regulations, which do not even meet the minimum security requirements. Secondly, also reduce the political weight of the institutions. You have to remove political fat. It cannot be that sacrifices are always being asked of the citizens and, nevertheless, the institutions continue in their bubble. We propose to return to the election system prior to 2007, with which the deputies of the insular councils fulfilled double function as deputies of the Consell and the Parliament. We currently have 138 elected deputies, the highest percentage of the population after the Canary Islands. Obviously, citizens do not have to bear so much political spending, which also implies a lack of coordination between institutions. It is the complete opposite of the much-proclaimed internal federalism of the islands. From there, we are also going to strengthen social services. We believe much more needs to be invested in social services. There are 5,500 places in residences, senior centers and day centers and there is a waiting list of 1,500. In other words, we need a third more. These would be three of the main proposals that we would like to carry out.
Q.- And in terms of mobility and roads, what does your training propose?
R.- We propose, on the one hand, to complete the second Palma ring road. Also do pending works such as the northern ring road of Inca and the road from Manacor to Felanitx, which is in a terrible state despite being two important regional capitals. We also want to adjust the speed limit to the density of traffic on the Vía de Cintura, in such a way that the safety distance is ensured. It seems to us that the arbitrary limit of 80 km/h is absurd. And we are also committed to mobility and collective transport. Collective transport understood as an attractive alternative, we do not want to force people, we prefer to regulate, with which we will encourage collective transport. We want to implement the Metrobús, which would be an electric bus with its own roads and its own interchange stations. These would go, in principle, from Llucmajor to Calvià, passing through the airport and Son Llàtzer and using their own lanes. We could use roads that are currently in disuse, such as Camí de Son Fangos, Camí Fondo… And we would also like to implement a toll for those vehicles that come from abroad and that, as happens on many occasions, spend most of their time here, in the Balearic Islands This would finance public transport and, at the same time, help local car rental companies to compete on an equal footing with the big fleets. I am referring to those fleets that come from abroad and that are domiciled in municipalities with very low taxation for mechanically-tracted vehicles.
Q.- What do you think of the management of the left-wing pact chaired by Catalina Cladera?
R.- I think governing is not easy. There have been hits and misses, but in many cases there has been a lack of courage. One of the examples or big mistakes is the removal of 17,000 tourist accommodation places from the stock market, which was approved in the last plenary session with a boche amendment after having governed for eight years. Man, that sounds a bit electoral, especially when there are 20,000 places operating illegally. It is true that there has been an effort, since it has gone from 15 to 25 tourism inspectors, but only 5% of the illegal offer has been detected. I already told you, it seems to me that there is a lack of courage and serious proposals and, above all, it is necessary to eliminate political fat, create a balance and defend the rights of citizens. The other day, when I was talking to Cati Caldera, she told me: It’s that you don’t believe in institutions. And I answered him: No, I believe in citizens. Institutions are there to serve citizens. It seems to me that the concept that citizens are there to serve institutions is completely wrong.
Q.- What was your first experience in politics?
R.- I was a member of the Democratic and Social Center twenty-five years ago and became president of Juventudes. I did not enter politics again until the entry of Joan Mesquida in Ciudadanos. The truth is that he gave me back the illusion for wanting to do politics. I think it is positive that people who were, from the street, enter politics. What seems a bit terrible to me is those people who have only lived inside the political bubble and don’t know anything else. That he has not stepped on the sidewalk, that he does not know the problems of the people… Those people who only know the problems of their colleagues, who are other politicians who have had the same type of career.
Q.- What is your profession?
R.- I am an economist and I also did tourism. I have a Master’s in European Studies from the Free University of Brussels and a Master’s in Political Analysis from the Open University of Catalonia. I work as a senior technician in the Autonomous Community and I have basically dedicated myself to economic analysis and relations with the European Union.
Q.- How do Ciudadanos face the final stretch of the campaign when most of the results in the polls are not very good?
R.- The surveys must be taken with a certain relativity. Precisely last Sunday, two print media from the Balearic Islands have given completely different and divergent results. The real survey is on May 28, we are optimistic. We believe that one has to stand up for what one believes in and we believe in voting bravely. We calculate that there are 8-10% of people who feel liberal in the Balearic Islands and we are committed to it. I know that Ciudadanos is going to be decisive and that we are going to be able to condition policies for the good of citizens and taxpayers. Enough of talking about the welfare state, when what you are thinking about is the welfare of the state. It is time to let those who, until now, have been those of the paganinis of the welfare state. Those who have contributed but have not received any help, neither when buying a flat, nor when paying for school, the dining room, etc.
Q.- If you get representation, with whom would you agree?
R.- It will depend on the program. What we are clear about is that we want to be decisive, whether inside or outside the government. I am not for the armchairs, I am for and to decide policies. Therefore, whether inside or outside the government, our goal is to condition. Who we would not agree with would be with the extremes, that is clear to us. We are here to moderate politics and, above all, to seek consensus and long-term policies.
Q.- You have been involved in an electoral campaign at the same time that you are fighting against prostate cancer. Has the treatment of your disease reduced your participation in the campaign?
R.- I would like to separate the topics a bit. When I made the health problem that I am suffering public, it was simply to raise the alarm, to raise awareness about prostate cancer and other cancers. To tell citizens to please follow up and take care of yourself. It is a silent disease, I for example did not have any symptoms. And my intention when making it public was nothing more than a message to raise awareness among the public. Therefore, I do not want to mix what the electoral campaign is with my personal health situation.
Q.- What are your proposals on issues of culture and heritage?
R.-We are for protecting heritage, especially architectural heritage. We have a great cultural wealth. We are also about to elaborate and constitute what would be the routes of the Archduke Luis Salvador. We want to take advantage of all the legacy that the Archduke left us to even make a route that goes from Formentera to Mahón. And then I think it is very important to move from what is normalization to normality. We will bring to the institutions what is normal on the street. People speak Spanish and/or Catalan without any problem, without any quarrel. The vast majority do so and there are cordial relations. And well, the normalization policy that different governments have been supporting has been in this country for 40 years now. When things last 40 years they are not usually very profitable.
Article and image Source