The fact that the second highest office of the Cabildo de Tenerife presents a series of 10 interviews on the public channel, which have already been recorded, has sparked a controversy. The groups of Sí Podemos, Coalición Canaria and Partido Popular in the Cabildo de Tenerife have rebelled against Arriaga’s decision. “Scandalous”, “incomprehensible” and “embarrassing” are some of the qualifiers of these three parties to the new facet of presenter of the Citizen representative, with which they consider that he “wants to promote himself.” CC has even taken the case to Canary Islands Parliament.
Enrique Arriaga rejected yesterday, in statements to this newspaper, the “public lynching” that he claims to be suffering. “I do not understand this public lynching when the program has not yet been released. I only ask that you see the program first and then give your opinion ”, clarified the vice president of the Tenerife Council, to underline that “It is not Alo Presidente”, in reference to the weekly space offered on Venezuelan public television by former President Hugo Chávez, who died in 2013. «I am not a journalist and it has not been my purpose. It is a dialogue with leaders of innovation on the Island, ”Arriaga made clear.
Divergent Minds is the result of an agreement between the Cabildo de Tenerife and Televisión Canaria. It consists of ten episodes, of ten minutes each, in which the First Vice-President and Minister of Innovation “interviews in a relaxed manner” with ten prestigious and recognized referents in the sector of education, youth, innovation, culture, research and new technologies, said the statement with the that the Insular Corporation informed on Thursday of this new space.
Among the interviewees of Divergent Minds stand out three positions of public companies and organizations that have to do with the areas of Innovation and Mobility, headed by Arriaga: the director of the Environment of the Technological and Renewable Energies Institute (ITER), Nemesio Pérez; the managing director of the bus company (Titsa), Raquel Martínez; and the CEO of the Science and Technology Park, Raquel Pérez Brito. Arriaga also interviewed –the programs are already recorded and are scheduled to be broadcast until January–, in addition to the aforementioned Rosa Aguilar; the dancer and interpreter 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.
The parties that have charged against Arriaga accuse him of «Use a public channel to promote your image», instead of focusing on his work as the second highest position in the Corporation. “Arriaga seems to be more concerned about being the protagonist and being under the attention of the population than about working for the benefit of the Island,” said María José Belda, counselor of Sí Podemos. The PP also showed its rejection. Manuel Fernández, deputy spokesman for the popular island group and councilor, believes 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.”
Although it was suspended, the first interview with the rector of the University of La Laguna can be seen since yesterday on the program’s website: mentesdivergentes.org. The space was filmed outside the Research Support Service (Segai) of the ULL. They are all black and white.
“Show and propaganda”
The CC-PNC group of the Cabildo de Tenerife describes the initiative of the Island Corporation to put its vice-president, Enrique Arriaga, as a presenter in a television program, as “not very suitable”, since “it seems made more for mere display and self-propaganda as a candidate of Ciudadanos than to inform the population. CC-PNC said yesterday in a statement that the program is financed by the Youth and Education area, whose director is Isabel Bello and who depends on the counselor, Concepción Rivero. “Both belong to Ciudadanos and are under the supervision of Arriaga. We want to know all the details of the program because we are facing an anomalous situation. We also want to know if Pedro Martín authorized the financing of this program, “said CC in a statement. For the nationalists, “the problem is not the interviewees but who acts as a supposed journalist, who is the vice president of the Cabildo.” “According to the program’s website, it is an original idea of Igor Suárez, Arriaga’s trusted staff in the Cabildo,” the training explained. For CC-PNC it is “ethically reprehensible that the head of Ciudadanos self-finances a television program with public money while working as a journalist. Once we have all the information, we will act accordingly “, concludes CC’s note.