José Luis Ábalos. Former Minister of Development and former Secretary of Organization of the PSOE
His surprise departure from the Government last July has given much to comment on, although he maintains that whoever points to shady issues does so without any support.
The former Minister of Public Works has just been appointed president of the Interior commission in Congress. He says that he has not spoken with Pedro Sánchez since his dismissal and that he has not wanted to delve into the reasons of the chief executive, to whom he claims to be grateful.
– Almost three months have passed since you left the Government and the leadership of the PSOE. Do you already know the reasons?
-Change of Government and refreshment of the personnel who had been in the front line. In all this time I have not had much concern to go deeper.
“And you still haven’t talked to him since?”
– I have not spoken with him, but I do not give him any interpretation. Before I had a very fluid relationship due to my responsibilities in the Government and as Secretary of Organization of the party. Now I am neither one thing nor the other.
– Óscar Puente has said that his departure from the Government had been rare. Do you share it?
–It is the vision of my dear friend Oscar. In my case the circumstance concurs that he was the Secretary of Organization, that is what will catch your attention.
–It has been said that you had asked to assume a responsibility that took up less time, is that correct?
–No, I didn’t ask for anything. But it would have been good for me.
– Due to personal circumstances and my own wear and tear.
– There has been talk that the Ministry of Defense could have been occupied. Was it a possibility?
-I do not know. Nobody raised anything with me.
– Is it true that Sánchez told you that you already knew the reasons why you relieved him?
–That is an absolute slander.
– Would you say that having always been in good harmony with all the barons of the party has hurt you?
-Why? It was an obligation derived from the responsibility I had and I am very satisfied.
But the fact that no objective reason was known to justify his departure has not helped him.
–It is evident that when a reason is not given that satisfies the curiosity of the staff, it gives rise to all speculation. There may be, from the position of my friend the mayor of Valladolid, who raises it from a position of affection, who obviously try to overshadow my figure.
– In some forum a judicial matter is pointed out that may affect you in the short or medium term.
– (Laughter) That someone is excited about those things is very unfortunate.
“Are you convinced that there won’t be any of that?”
“Man, I don’t foresee anything.” My management was about a huge ministry and one does not reach everything, but in my case everything that has been tried to be attributed to me has been prosecuted and resolved. Therefore, as long as it is not a question that can escape me … But I am convinced that those who say that have no budget to say it, simply bad intention.
– In any case, some issues have put you under the focus of controversy. The arrival of Delcy Rodríguez to Barajas, or the aid to the Spanish airline Plus Ultra … Do you have any relationship with Venezuela that may be suspicious?
– I have never had anything to do with Venezuela, nor have I done anything. In any case, in the case of Plus Ultra, that there is a complaint from the opposition, it is not even raised with me. And now that I am no longer a minister, I am no longer quoted.
– Who asked you to go to Barajas?
–It is that I believe that there are things that one has to assume.
– Did you attend as Secretary of Organization?
– In my dual capacity as minister and position of the party.
– But as a member of the Government that presence did not concern him at all.
-It has nothing to do with it. I was a piece of a political nature in that government.
– Is it true that the relationship with Sánchez was close until one day, overnight, she stopped calling him?
-Nerd. Basically all good until you told me about your remodel decision.
-There are those who think that with his departure, as with Adriana Lastra’s, Sánchez clears collaborators from his environment to whom he ‘owed’ his return to the general secretary.
—It’s that nobody owes me anything. Quite the opposite. I don’t have that feeling and I don’t think Adriana either. I am a deeply grateful person, because I know that everything I have achieved has been thanks to others, not thanks to myself.
“Said like this, it seems to say that you had no capacity.”
-You have to have it, you have to accompany it. But we are nothing without others. Would I have been a minister without the PSOE? No Without the support of colleagues? No Without the support of the president to trust me and not other members who were also in the initial team? Of course not. It is a choice that I have to be grateful for.
– What remains of that Pedro Sánchez of the ‘spirit of Xirivella’?
“It’s the same person, obviously.” What changes are the circumstances.
– Can you clarify if the motion of censure in Murcia was going to lead to another similar initiative in the Community of Madrid?
– It is not that Cs thought to raise the motion (of Madrid) as some have wanted to say, because if they had wanted they would have done it in parallel. But the logical thing was to think that this had consequences. Very especially in the Community of Madrid, where Ayuso was looking for the pretext to call elections and part with his partner. That’s what I say, that Cs had to foresee that.
–Because when you talk to Cs about the motion in Murcia, don’t you also talk about Madrid?
-No. Apparently Cs only wanted to circumscribe it to Murcia. I don’t know how they thought to prevent that effect when Ayuso was looking for an excuse. We did contemplate that consequence. Not to do so was to enter the realm of naivety.
– Is it still considered ‘sanchista’?
– I do not like those denominations. They are reductionist.