The first president in the history of the Tenerife Cabildo, Rosa Dávila (CC), has already surpassed the first hundred days of government, marked by the worst forest fire that has affected the Island and by the work to solve traffic problems, where Dávila highlights the twenty measures adopted during this time. To which she will be joined by others throughout her mandate, in which she affirms that the insular Government (CC-PP) wants to address the projects to extend tram line 2 to Muñeco de Nieve (Santa Cruz) and up to Tacoronte.
-What is your overall assessment of these first hundred days of your mandate? How would you define them?
“One hundred very intense days, with a lot of activity, undoubtedly marked by the fire, but we have also addressed issues that were historical problems of Tenerife and in this new stage we are determined to face them. I think there is a lot of determination, in addition to the enthusiasm of those who arrive. And I have discovered an extraordinary human team, not only great professionals, but of enormous human quality and, above all, committed to the Island.”
-As for the fire (the Kings will preside tomorrow in Tenerife at a tribute to those who fought against the flames), what has it been like to face this challenge, being one of the worst that the Island has suffered?
“And, furthermore, a very complex fire. Of course there are many feelings when you face a fire of that magnitude, you have to make decisions, but I have never felt alone. What I told you about having a very solvent team, in the end they gave you confidence because you were with the fire department making decisions, seeing the brutal work of the forestry brigades or the firefighters. And how they get personally involved, love their land, give their all. And then, feeling the solidarity and affection of the people, the truth is that you appreciate it very much. And I have to highlight that the population has been exemplary in its behavior.”
-What is its current situation? Do experts give any prediction of when it could be considered extinct?
“No, it will depend on the weather. Reactivations are going to be a constant, what is not so normal is having a heat wave that leads to 25 reactivations a day and that, in addition, they got directly very close to population centers. It is a subsoil fire, which passes beneath the earth and is difficult to extinguish because we need the temperature to change, the humidity to rise, but above all for it to rain calmly. I believe that it is not debatable that we are facing a climate change that leads to extreme heat situations, and we are going to cross our fingers so that there are no torrential rains because at this moment it would be a very serious problem, because that soil is completely loose and now there is “We have to do very important work to consolidate it, even before proceeding with reforestation.”
-What lessons have you learned from issues that need to be changed, improved or strengthened regarding forest fires and their prevention?
“I think we must address several issues that have to do with our relationship with the countryside, with natural spaces, with the obligation that we all have to take care of and take self-protection measures when you are already in population centers very close to the forest. And, above all, from the Cabildo to promote, and we are determined to do so, decisions that are aimed at being able to put properties that are abandoned into exploitation, with a proposal in the area of the interface medians, where we can intervene in a much more effective.”
-And a package of measures of more than 30 million has been approved between now and 2026…
“It is a multi-year plan that not only includes the entire soil consolidation part, but also the cleaning of ravines, reforestation and the recovery of native species that have been shown to resist fire much better, such as the Canary Islands pine, In fact, you see areas that were burned in August resprouting. And then create in the interface area some reforestations that have a type of flora that does not allow the fire to go down when it gets there, because we have encountered some situations with the eucalyptus that were planted at the time or the radiata pine that they have given us. given us a lot of problems.”
-Another of the most important topics in these hundred days has been mobility on the Island. How do you value the work done in this time?
“Well, I have to say that I am very satisfied because this has become a challenge for everyone. And what I have been able to verify in the first 90 days that I gave myself to make decisions, is that we were able to make more than 20, some small, others larger. Here it is not worth resigning or folding your arms, you have to have courage, determination and address this challenge. For me the most beautiful thing was that a few days after being president I called a meeting and more than 60 people came, we held a second one and even more groups joined and they are all signing that pact for the sustainable mobility of Tenerife and joining with their own initiatives . In the end it is a challenge for the entire Island. And you realize that it is possible and, furthermore, you notice that the queues have decreased, the reality is that the queue that began in La Orotava, now begins in Tacoronte. And when there are large delays it is because there has been an accident. But having tow trucks prepared that are at the service of the Cabildo and that can remove the vehicles quickly will alleviate a lot. We are working so that they can be there starting in November. And we are committed to continuing to make decisions.”
-Then there are large road projects that come from the previous mandate, does the new island Government maintain its commitment to them?
“We do not rule out any of them, what happens is that we see which ones are really much more effective at this moment in relieving the traffic jam situation. We are working on the Padre Anchieta catwalk, which will be a great relief and we hope to have it finished by the end of 2024. We are working and the pieces are arriving, there was a slightly critical moment because the prices had risen and when we arrived the work was ready. stop, but it has been resolved and is going very well. And the third lanes, both in the South and in the North, are the priority for the Cabildo. Of course also the work, which is already being done, of closing the island ring through the Erjos tunnels, and then there are island roads that we are improving, among others.
-And the La Laguna ring road?
“When we arrived we found unfavorable reports from the Cabildo itself. This is a work of the Government of the Canary Islands, so we want to study it calmly and with the Government. In this sense, something that we have recovered is the dialogue, because there was no between Government Highways and the Cabildo, and we have recovered not only the dialogue with the Government, but also with the town councils. We are also going to launch the Tenerife Sustainable Mobility Plan in the coming weeks, and we are going to be working on it with the municipalities.”
-What does the plan propose?
“It is an open document that provides several solutions that are combined, but whichever is chosen must always be accompanied by mobility policies aimed at discouraging the use of private vehicles. On the Island, only 6% of mobility occurs by public transportation, and we have the challenge of being able to raise it to between 15 and 20% in the next four years. And that will lead us to make many decisions, such as restricting the use of private vehicles. And we are making a very strong commitment to public transportation, hiring more drivers and new buses.”
-And as for the train and tram?
“We are betting in the medium term on the extension of the tram. Extend line 2 to Muñeco de Nieve (Southwest District of Santa Cruz), there is a part of its budget that will already be allocated for next year, and we are also looking at the different solutions to extend the tram, or they will say the technicians what it is, because maybe there is a part that goes underground, to Tacoronte, and that would include the North airport, and then another line that we believe is also going to help a lot with mobility is the one that would take us to Añaza . And, on the other hand, we are seeing another solution that has to do with connectivity between San Isidro-Aeropuerto del Sur-Arona-Adeje. That one is not that advanced.”
-In this mandate, which is the most feasible to achieve?
“Extending line 2 to Muñeco de Nieve is safe and we would very much like, because we believe it is very necessary, to board the tram to Tacoronte, because it will take on a lot of population, and it is not something so long-term, two or three years, because if they are in the planning, we can make the investments. We have not sat down to see the planning, because we have to see the projects, we want to use the alternative that is friendlier to La Laguna, we were looking at it with the mayor, there is a challenge that is to sew up that wound on the highway that divides the city “, and for us it is a challenge to facilitate it and for the tram to become a thread that sews together the city.”
-Regarding other projects, you have highlighted the new nursery check.
“It is a check for education from 0 to 3 years that was not planned when we arrived, we made the decision on September 8, at the end of the month we made a credit modification and soon it will be possible to request it and it is up to 800 euros per child , to support families so they can pay for tuition, dining room or any expense, and you also have the freedom to choose the center you want. “It is for average incomes, that is, it is not social aid, it is aid for families who, having income, are not enough.”
-The risk of zero energy on the Island has also been declared. How threatening is the situation?
“The situation is critical throughout the Canary Islands, at this moment there is a deficit of megawatts and there is equipment that is more than 25 or 30 years old, and that is why both the Government of the Canary Islands and the councils, in the Fecai, have declared the energy emergency. so that the equipment and facilities that need to be renewed are done immediately.”
-We are also experiencing a record arrival of migrants, what can the Cabildo do in this situation and what does it ask of the State?
“What the councils are doing is facilitating, above all, locations. The previous weekend, in solidarity with our colleagues from El Hierro, we opened a center for immigrant minors, but there must be a migration policy on the part of the European Union and the Government of Spain. It seems like a joke to me that Marlaska comes and says that she is going to send two planes to Senegal, that is not a comprehensive immigration policy. And of course I refuse to think that from Europe or from the Government of Spain they look at us as if this were the retention center of Europe. And we don’t want to be the cemetery in the Atlantic.”
-In recent statements you have closed the door on the Fonsalía port project. How can the collapse of the Los Cristianos port be resolved?
“Well, investing. In our part, the Los Cristianos interchange project has already been put out to tender, along with the burying of the Chayofita road, and we are going to work hand in hand with Puertos de Tenerife so that the necessary investments are made in the port. of Los Cristianos, and also in Granadilla and Santa Cruz. The port of Los Cristianos is the one with the highest passenger traffic in all of Spain, and it does not have the conditions to cover the number of vehicles, passengers and trucks that it has.
-And how is the relationship going with the government partner, the PP?
“The truth is that I feel personally very lucky, there are two political groups but a single government team, and Lope Afonso is an extraordinary person, personally and professionally, with whom it is very easy to work, we have very good relationship. But there is also a good relationship with the rest of the groups.”