The beginning of the plenary session was delayed – more than half an hour – due to the delay in air connections between Tenerife and several islands. Because deputies are like fairies, who come and go flying, even if the dust on their wings will pay for them. As if he feared a riot, Gustavo Matos had left his ocher backpack occupying his presidential seat. Their lordships, in small groups, chewed on their own boredom, with Vidina becoming increasingly delighted; Julio Pérez perhaps recalling the ominous Franco dictatorship with Manuel Marrero, who a couple of hours later had to warn those who wanted a Spain “one, great and free” that they would not pass; those of the PP always distant from each other, like a family of hedgehogs, and Juan Manuel García Ramos in his seat, searching on his mobile for a verse from a New Zealand poet to astonish the respectable. Finally at 11:03 a.m. the bells rang summoning the deputies and a couple of minutes later Matos, already with his backpack on the ground, declared the plenary session open.
In the blue bank you can see the absence of President Ángel Víctor Torres, who was on La Palma, accompanied by Casimiro Curbelo as supernumerary adviser of the autonomous government. Torres was again next to the volcano to sell that his Executive had already released the 1,140 million for SMEs and the self-employed and the three and a half million for farmers, and it is true, which does not exactly mean that it is already available for all those affected , which will not happen for another ten or fifteen days. But he was in a hurry, in a hurry so that he cannot be reproached for the fact that before the end of the year there is still not a penny reaching La Palma. Torres has turned into a nightmare for his subordinates, because he constantly demands that the damn files be expedited and paid now. With the president absent, several corifeos were able to rest; Nira Fierro, for example, had a very relaxed morning.
The first questions were for Román Rodríguez who, as always, was delighted. If in a remote future some clueless historian wants to get an image of Rodríguez, he will have to read a wonderful story by Max Beerbohm entitled Enoch Soames; there the devil appears, a lying, boastful and unscrupulous devil, who shows the same vitalistic humor and the same polichinesque gestural code as Rodríguez. The Vice President and Minister of Finance answered questions from García Ramos about the EU or Nieves Lady about planning the economic and social recovery of La Palma; in both cases he did so with his customary facundity in order to say absolutely nothing. When he answered the deputy palm tree, for example, Rodríguez said that “the economy of La Palma had to be rethought with sustainability criteria” which did not seem to enthuse his honor. Later, in another appearance, the Minister of Public Works, Sebastián Franquis, would insist that it was “still” in the emergency phase. What the Government does not fully understand is that in a long-term volcanic eruption a linear schedule cannot be applied, that is, attention to emergencies cannot and should not postpone the design of an economic analysis and recovery strategy. The vice president was also questioned about those worrying previous reports on the reform of the autonomous financing system and the amazing purpose they breathe: to re-anchor the REF in the system, which would mean for the Canary Islands not only violating the Statute, but losing hundreds of millions euros annually. Of course all the political forces insisted that they would not tolerate such aggression, except for the PSOE, which, as usual, thinks that everything is a misunderstanding between gentlemen (and ladies) and nothing serious will happen. Curiously, the most ardent detractors were among the deputies of Nueva Canaria. “This previous attitude of the Ministry of Finance has us very concerned,” said María Esther González, “and we are not going to tolerate any reduction in our rights.” Even Rodríguez mused, it was a bit difficult to listen to him, that adding the REF resources to the Canarian quota in the autonomous financing system “would be to risk self-government.” It would, in effect, be exactly that. It would be an explicit message to the Canarian community: resign yourselves to second-rate autonomy.
Rodríguez showed, shortly afterwards, that in matters of rudeness he is well served, and that he understands that in the regional Chamber there are first and second parliamentary groups. Deputy Socorro Beato (CC) had requested the appearance of the vice president to explain the progress (or stagnation) of the process of transferring the new powers registered in the 2018 Statute of Autonomy. Rodríguez escaped the explanations and handed them over to Julio Pérez, perhaps the most omnivorous creature in the cabinet, because he always eats what they send him. Of the three areas of jurisdiction in which the Canarian Executive has been interested in transferring – coasts management, financial protection and promotion and defense of competition – there have been no substantial advances in any of them, which was perfectly clear despite Julio’s juggling games. Pérez, who sowed various shimmering genius always with a pinch of patriarchal patience: “we are moving towards a model of co-governance”, “obtaining new skills is no more important than correctly exercising those we already have”, “the truth is that there are not so many new ones competences of the Statute, it is not created ”. It is as if you have been asked your opinion as a well-informed gentleman, not as if you have to respond to a demand for information from the opposition. Beato was harsh and precise with Rodríguez, she read the articles of the Organic Regulation of the Government, which attributes to the vice president the coordination in the management of the transfer of powers, and accused him of draining the package, because he did not have to offer, after two years and medium, no advance to the House. By then the most surprising thing had already happened: Román Rodríguez had left the blue bank and took a seat in the group of the Gomera Socialist Group, opening a lively gathering with Jesús Ramos Chinea. After a while Luis Campos approached and raised the volume of the conversation and some laughter was heard. Meanwhile Socorro Beato kept asking, referring directly to Rodríguez, and Julio Pérez kept answering.
This humorous coarseness of Mr. Rodríguez, setting up antics in the plenary hall with an unworthy behavior that has no other objective than making fun of a deputy, already surpasses any limit, and should have an answer. It is no longer a parliamentary discourtesy: it is a blatant rudeness. Imagine that in the midst of an appearance by a minister who replaced her by means of a trick, Vice President Nadia Calviño left the blue bank and left to tell jokes and make jokes to the PNV seats. This is exactly what happened yesterday in the regional Chamber. Of course: it was crystal clear that the transfers required by the new Statute of Autonomy are stalled and that when that happens to the vice president, what comes to mind is to laugh at Parliament. As if it were a picnic area. Yours.