CC has even taken the case to Canary Islands Parliament. The nationalist deputy José Alberto Díaz-Estébanez yesterday raised a question about this decision by Arriaga: «What are the terms and conditions of the agreement signed between RTVCA and the Cabildo de Tenerife for the broadcast of the program Divergent minds, starring and presented throughout of its ten episodes in person by the first vice president of the Cabildo, in addition to being created and directed by his press officer, who is in turn responsible for Citizens’ communication? ».
On Thursday, the Cabildo de Tenerife announced the agreement it has reached with the Canary Islands Television (RTVC) for the broadcast in the public environment of the program Divergent minds, which consists of ten episodes of ten minutes in length in which the Vice President and Minister of Innovation interviews ten “prestigious and recognized leaders in the education sector, youth, innovation , culture, research and new technologies ”, was explained at the press conference.
Surprise from María José Belda
María José Belda, spokesperson for the Sí Podemos group, which externally supports the PSOE and Ciudadanos island government, showed her surprise at the announcement that Enrique Arriaga is going to present a television program, which she learned “from the press”. “It seems incomprehensible to us that Arriaga assumes other responsibilities given the importance of the areas he directs in the Cabildo and his great responsibilities as a relevant public position. It has taken us by surprise and we do not understand it. It seems that he is more concerned about being the protagonist and being under the attention of the population than about working for the benefit of the Island, “said Belda, who announced that he will ask for explanations in the plenary commission of the Insular Corporation.
Canary Coalition, for its part, considers «Scandalous» and «tremendously alarming» see «how public money is used in the Cabildo de Tenerife to promote to one of his main positions ». The nationalists announced that when they get the answer to the question posed in the Parliament of the Canary Islands they will make “political decisions.” The nationalists understand that “the seriousness” of this fact “forces the Cabildo and the Canarian Television to appear and give public explanations for the good of both the entity and the island Corporation itself.”
The Popular Party also showed its rejection. Manuel Fernández, deputy spokesman for the popular island group and councilor, said yesterday that “this is an example of how public money from this Cabildo is used to set up a political bar in the form of a television program with the sole purpose of becoming self-styled.” Fernández understands that there is “a single person responsible” to point out Pedro Martin, president of the Cabildo of Tenerife and of the PSOE of Tenerife. “Pedro Martín allows his vice president and his trusted staff to dedicate themselves to making television programs with all the problems we have on the island.” “This is a shame on which we will take the pertinent actions so that it is not played like this with the public money of all the people of Tenerife”, concluded the insular councilor of the PP. The Tenerife PSOE, a partner of Ciudadanos in the island government, declined to assess Arriaga’s decision.
Enrique Arriaga assured that he assumes criticism “calmly” and sent those who disqualify him “to see the program”, which is scheduled to premiere today. “There they can make a composition of the place.” The vice president of the Cabildo de Tenerife wanted to make it very clear, in statements to this newspaper, that “I am not a presenter nor do I at any time intend to exercise the task of journalist.” “In no case is it about professional intrusion.”
Arriaga explained about the Divergent Minds format, which is that of “an interview of about ten minutes with a figure who has been successful, also during the pandemic period, in the field of business or entrepreneurship.” “The other part is represented by the administration and in this case I am myself.” He details that the production carried out by Cabido “has been offered completely free of charge to Canarian Television” and considers that “it does not conflict at all with my responsibilities in the Island Corporation.” “Quite the contrary, it has a lot to do with it because the intention is to address a young audience and promote scientific vocations.” The vice president of the Cabildo de Tenerife assured that he does not want to get into controversy but understands the media commotion generated by his role as presenter of a television program “excessive”, which he attributes to the fact that critics “do not know very well what this space is about television”.
Among the interviewees of the first season of Divergent Minds, three positions of public companies and organizations that have to do with the areas of Innovation and Mobility stand out, headed by Arriaga himself: the director of the Environment Area of the Technological and Renewable Energy Institute (ITER), Nemesio Pérez; the managing director of the insular bus company (Titsa), Raquel Martínez; and the CEO of the Science and Technology Park, Raquel Pérez Brito.
Arriaga also plans to interview the rector of the University of La Laguna, Rosa Aguilar; the dancer, creator and performer Paula Quintana; the founder and president of Arquimea, Diego Fernández; the influencer Marta Purriños; the director of the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, Rafael Rebolo; the former director of the Institute of Tropical Diseases, Basilio Valladares; and the director of Atos Canarias, José Manuel Rodríguez.