Again and again Patricia Bullrich avoids personalizing and direct crosses with María Eugenia Vidal and Horacio Rodríguez Larreta, but the hot intern of the PRO flies over the hour of dialogue with Clarion. The former Minister of Security and president of the party founded by Mauricio Macri He answers by phone from his home in Palermo.
-This Saturday Mauricio Macri and Vidal met. I speak with them?
-Firstly, there are many dialogues and in these dialogues positions are accentuated and proposals are going to be made. You have to wait, you have to be calm, you have to understand that the priority is for parliament to guarantee society the republican balance it needs. That is the main objective. The objective is not the 2023 candidacies, it is for Parliament to have the balance so that there is no progress towards a prebendary democracy.
-The problems of the PRO then are for the candidacies of 2023, not for those of 2021?
-Discussing the candidacies without fully understanding what is at stake in 2021 is bypassing society. This debate that we have to give now is the most important: how do we protect society from an aimless government, an overwhelming attempt and an attempt to reduce democracy and republican controls. The other debate about who is positioned or who is boss or boss is not an important one nor is it a debate of society. We had to put ourselves very strict on the need not to pass laws that distorted Justice, that put it at the service of power; in which the Government does not advance on the freedom of the people with eternal quarantines, which destroy the economy of the middle classes. This is an election to move forward with these causes.
– There was speculation about the reasons why he did not attend the JxC meeting on Wednesday to just lower the tension.
-I couldn’t, I had a problem. Everything that came out afterwards that I had not gone and was suggestive are not fair. I am a disciplined student. Once I am missing they take it as a decision. I face problems, I don’t avoid them. I speak up front. It is far from me not to go to the meeting to give a sign. I have another look. You have to go head-on and talk head-on. I may be politically incorrect, but I go head-on.
-María Eugenia Vidal, who also did not attend the meeting, is going straight ahead?
-I am not going to speak for Vidal nor am I going to get into a fight with anyone. There are millions of Argentines who are watching us. I have earned a place for the battle against drug trafficking, for always defending the population. I am not going to enter into a fight with the republican space, I am not going to feed Kirchnerism.
-After the meeting between JxC Larreta and Santilli, photos were taken with mayors and you did the same a day later. How should these gestures be interpreted?
-I want to give a first concept. JxC’s unity is guaranteed. Whether or not there is a STEP in the 24 districts does not threaten the unity of space. You have to be very clear about it, because it seems that if there was a STEP that would attack the unit and it is not like that. It is a democratic form of candidate selection. That is why we defended them. If we now say that we love them, we are incoherent. Whoever loses lines up with whoever wins. This concept has to be clear. No one can play a STEP and then leave space. The PASO do not threaten the unit, they attempt if one loses and leaves. What the PRO has to achieve is balance. There are different views on how to think about the country, on how the relationship with the political force that governs should be.
-When they were the government they wanted to eliminate the PASO.
-Finally we did not eliminate them. Argentina can discuss an electoral system for selecting candidates better than the PASO, because the problem is that when we had the presidential PASO they ended up being a first round. There may be a different model of interns other than the age of the affiliation. I would not have more members of the political parties, but people who are adherents, who sign up for each election.
-Jorge Macri said that the intern of the PRO is a junk close to the piece of paper, does it coincide?
– I am not going to speak of qualifications that other leaders have made. It seems to me that the Province had established a principle for the Buenos Aires leaders to choose from among those who are from the Province. We do not want more leaders who are not from the Province. If this principle is broken, an element that had been discussed among all is broken. We returned to a situation in which Buenos Aires did not elect Buenos Aires. We have to look out of our space to put up a fight. A document from intellectuals came out that says they see democracy at risk and not all adhere to JxC. There are firms that are very critical of us like Beatriz Sarlo. We are in that debate.
-Vidal went from the City to the Province and now it is speculated that he will compete in the Capital and Diego Santilli in the Province.
-Vidal was also in the City, she has been deputy head of government, she has had participation in the City. It is a debate of the Province. The important thing is why this debate occurs and the principle of the Buenos Aires leaders is discontinued.
-Why is it being discontinued?
-Because the election is being ordered with a view to a logic of hegemonic intent of one sector over the other. Not good for the balance of JxC and PRO. I do not believe in the Argentina of pan-Peronism, of “we tied it with a wire”, of “we settle with Sergio Massa and we go there.” It is a debate between an Argentina that believes that only by negotiating with sectors of Peronism will they give you governance. It has already been proven, it is a litany, I do not understand it, I do not share it. I don’t want to be part of an Argentina that doesn’t tell Peronism that change is for real.
-Is Diego Santilli qualified to compete in the Province?
-If he reads the Buenos Aires Constitution, he should have a permanent residence in the City. He could have changed, but today he is deputy chief and I believe that he will comply with the mandates that the citizenship gave you. Regardless of Diego, the hegemony of the east lists in a single sector of the PRO is not good. That is a substantive debate. It doesn’t seem right to me. Be careful against the diversity of views that the PRO has and that people will have to choose.
-It is said that Vidal would accept to compete in a unit list. Would you agree to share the ballot if it doesn’t top the list?
-I am not going to answer, because it seems to me that it does not correspond. It is a question that should be asked of her. A serious discussion in a match is that everyone in the competition gets down from where they are and starts from scratch. A discussion in which I argue, but I put the first Capital and the Province is an imposition. I am willing to strip myself of everything, but everyone has to see what each one strips off. What we are fighting is much more important. Mario Negri already said it. We are 7 deputies from the hegemony of Kirchnerism.
-Would you agree not to be a candidate?
-I have no problem stripping myself. I was a deputy 3 times. I am interested in the fact that there is balance and that there is no hegemony of one view of the PRO over the other. As president of the PRO I have generated a representative force in society that is not Patricia Bullrich’s. It gave the PRO a preeminence on issues of a very deep social nature, such as the defense of education, private property. If that representation made our people stay with us is not my issue. I may not be on any list, but the representation of this look has to be there, because otherwise people will not accompany us. It is strategic for the defense of what our voter has felt during this year and has kept JxC united.
-You became president of the PRO, because it was promoted by Mauricio Macri. Do you represent the former president?
-Posting that it is a discussion between Macri and Larreta and political leaders is wrong. Ideas of how Argentina is conducted are being discussed. We come from a government that did not have a second term. That debate is not light, it is important. If we return to govern, it has to be for the change to be a real change. Mauricio has to be protected by everyone, by Larreta, Vidal, Pichetto. We don’t have to do what Alberto Fernández did with Cristina Kirchner, who in the end told him “I save you.”
-Vidal and Larreta do not defend Macri’s management?
-I will not say who defends him or who does not. You have to do what radicalism did with Alfonsín. The first president to have a PRO has to be defended by the entire PRO, not a part. That is essential. It is not a discussion of leadership, we are not the PJ, we do not crush the other as Kirchner did with Duhalde.
-Is Macri your political boss?
-I will not answer. It doesn’t seem appropriate to me. The PRO has an asset in its former president.
-Macri said that you had to lower your egos. Some interpreted that he was referring to you.
-I do not agree with that phrase. If you mean me, I have no ego. My candidacy for deputy is available, it is for anyone. What I argue is that JxC is not continue, I want it to be Change.
-Was the Macri government more let’s continue than Cambiemos?
-The Government had a correct path with a series of problems that we could not handle in the economy and in social policy, which I think was very bad. We did not leave the welfare and we could not generate confidence for which change was structurally important. Massa at 4 months put us a law to prevent layoffs. The first day they put the helicopter at the door. In a future government there must be no prior commitments. The law does not negotiate with crime.
-Alfredo Cornejo said that Facundo Manes can be a pledge of unity in the Province. What do you think?
-It seems reasonable for Alfredo to say it, but as president of PRO I don’t want to negotiate through the media.
-Will José Luis Espert and López Murphy be your allies?
-We have made them a proposal. López Murphy is to play the PASO and I read from Espert that he got angry, but there is no decision about the floors in an elementary school. We are going to try to get everyone to participate.
-Do you think that if Macri is lost, he runs the risk of going to prison?
-We have a government whose president had raised something that he left in a suitcase outside the Casa Rosada, which was to generate healthy institutions, an independent justice. He did the opposite. It is not a Mauritian problem. It is a problem of the 45 million citizens that an undemocratic model advances. They all suffer. The discretion has been such that each one knows that if the projects that did not pass had passed, we would be worse off. We have been a brake, added to the mobilizations, to the mobilized parents, to the Reconquista people, to the society that came out to say that it did not want dangerous prisoners on the streets. We are as we are. We are going to be poorer, more miserable.
– Didn’t the government correct the vaccination plan? The signing of a contract for 24 million vaccines has just been announced.
-Any vaccine that comes is good. There are a number of losses of life, economic, health, education. Welcome to the vaccine, but we could have had vaccinations in December and now we are out of a second dose of Sputnik.
-Do you still maintain that the Government wanted a return to the negotiation with Pfizer?
– I continue to maintain that the one who has to explain why this contract was not signed is the President. That I am going to discuss. This negotiation is in the framework of a darkness and it must be filled with light.