“We are going for everything. It is not an easy task, but we must do it with great joy.” This is how Yolanda Díaz closed her first message to the United We Can parliamentary group since she assumed the political leadership of the space, after the departure of Pablo Iglesias. Accompanied by the Minister of Social Rights and candidate to succeed Iglesias in Podemos, Ione Belarra; the Minister of Equality, Irene Montero; of the Consumer, Alberto Garzón; of the Universities, Manuel Castells; and the president of the group, Jaume Asens, the third vice president of the Government has tried to encourage the deputies after the departure of the founder of Podemos. “We are going to be decisive in the next decade,” he said. “Let’s assume the responsibility that is already in our lives,” he added, to demand a political action less focused “on Twitter” and more “on small things” or “everyday”, which are what really matter to people, has said. “The legislature begins now,” he emphasized.
INTERVIEW | Yolanda Díaz: “I am going to build bridges, the policy of noise and walls does not lead to anything”
Díaz, who has not yet formally accepted to be the candidate of United We Can in the next elections, has assumed this Thursday leadership over the parliamentary group as the main reference of the space in the Government. The vice president has been “proud” of a political space that “has changed history,” he said. And also “Pablo Iglesias, what he represents and what he has done: change history,” he added. The Galician leader, aware of the void left by the departure of the former secretary general, has acknowledged that they are “in transition.” “Pablo Iglesias is here with us. Let us have no fear. Will walk with us, as he has always done, “he assured.
But the Minister of Labor has also dedicated most of her speech to talking about what United We can have ahead. Of the pending challenges, of how you want them to be faced and of the changes you intend to undertake. “A new, collective stage begins,” he said. “You, you, and many more people who are going to accompany us, we are going to be decisive in the next decade,” he pointed out.
“The legislature begins now”
Yolanda Díaz has assured her deputies that “the legislature begins now”, after the Government has devoted practically all its efforts to fighting the health, social and economic crisis caused by the pandemic. “We have been dedicated for more than a year in a management that was difficult, in which no country in the world had experience, and that was painful,” he recalled. But with the group immunity promised by the President of the Government for the month of August, Díaz has said that he is beginning “to lift his head, to breathe a future that is going to be a little better for everyone.” “With more optimism and hope,” he added.
Díaz wanted to start up the parliamentary group. I am very demanding and I want to ask you for things. Let’s work hard and well. You have to work more. We have to redouble our energies because we are going to continue making history.
The vice president has defended the “social shield” launched at the request of the United We Can ministries to put a cushion on the crisis caused by the pandemic. “The social protection measures that we deploy, fighting a lot, have shown that it can be managed for the people,” he assured. But the time has come to “work towards a fair and inclusive recovery” and to ensure that, unlike what happened a decade ago, the crisis does not come out “with more inequality and precariousness.”
Díaz has raised the need to write “a new social contract” in which there are “several hands”: women, pensioners, unemployed so that “the economy is at the service of the people.” “The pandemic has changed our lives, but especially the common sense of the time. We will be up to the task,” he added.
End to “Twitter policy”
Díaz has shown “concern” about the “enormous distance” he feels between the people and “the public leadership, politics.” “They feel that we are away from their daily concerns,” he warned. Diaz’s words take more value spoken 48 hours after the tenth anniversary of 15M. “Society is suffering a lot, it is resentful and enduring enormous uncertainties,” he said. “Politics, with capital letters, is the tool of the peoples to achieve transformations in a democratic sense. Today, as 10 years ago, we must never forget it,” he pointed out at another point in his speech.
“We have to attend to the small and everyday things,” he said. “To be accompanying people out there,” he added. And for that, he argued, we must leave the “politics of Twitter.” Díaz has assured that social networks “transmit anxiety” to people and recalled that Ada Colau recently announced that she has precisely left Twitter. “Faced with this social unrest, we must generate calm and tranquility. Especially when they are afraid and are suffering. That is what the great leaders do,” he defended.
Díaz has assured that “that Twitter policy” is something “very masculine” because it means being “aware of the navels.” “We have to worry about everyday life. This is very feminist. About the little things that do not make big headlines, but change life,” he explained. Díaz has proposed some measures approved by the five ministries of United We Can and that, in his opinion, have received fewer headlines than they deserved, such as the Corresponsables de Igualdad plan, the increase in SMI, the increase in university scholarships, the reversal of the cuts in the matter of Dependency or the prohibition of the advertising of betting houses. Sometimes “they give negative headlines, but they change people’s lives,” he recalled.
“Anxiety is not good,” he insisted. “There is already too much anxiety. We are not people of noise, we work for the common good,” he added. “The outside is the important thing, it is our people, our town,” he pointed out. And he has settled: “The politics of Twitter has left out important issues.”
It is not the first time that Yolanda Díaz has made a difference with the uses that have been customary in Podemos, and in Unidas Podemos. Or with the way of managing the organization that has been used until now. In his first interview as vice president, in elDiario.esThe Galician leader already said: “I do not order and command, I want non-confrontational and non-hierarchical leadership.” Today, Díaz has raised “female leaderships” and “feminists” such as that of the prime ministers of New Zealand and Finland, Jacinda Arden and Sanna Marin, or the candidate of the German Greens, Annalena Baerbock. And he has announced a legislative project that he will have to develop with Irene Montero, a law of the uses of time.
The vice president has assured wanting “to have everyone as a team”, referring to the parliamentary group. And he has launched a “message from the Government of Spain.” “This space goes for all. We go for all. It is not a simple task, but we must do it with great joy. The best is yet to be done. There are many victories for ordinary people,” he closed his speech.