lunes, 17 de septiembre de 2012

Aguirre steps down as Madrid's premier


El Confidencial 09/17/2012   (06:00 AM CET)
Esperanza Aguirre, premier of the region of Madrid and deputy in the regional parliament, announced on Monday in a press conference that she will step down from both these positions, a decision that came as a surprise to many. 
She announced her decision this morning and “before telling anyone else” she had informed Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, the leader of the centre-rightPopular party, which both represent.
The announcement came as a surprise to most people. Only her closest staff had been informed in advance of her decision. On Friday, her closest circle of staff, including deputy premier for the region of Madrid, Ignacio González, and the head of communication, Isabel Gallego, were told that she planned to make the announcement this Monday. The press conference was held at 2.30pm and even only half an hour before several members of her government were not aware of her decision.
"Not only" because of cancer
Aguirre, who was clearly touched during the press conference, informed about her decision to withdraw from the front lines of politics. After she steps down, her position as premier of the region will be taken over by Deputy Premier González.
Aguirre said her decision was not only related to the fact that she suffers from breast cancer “from which I am allegedly cured. It is not only because of that, but it has had an influence,” as well as a number of personal circumstances “such as the arrival of the grandchildren and to spend more time with my husband.”
She said it will be particularly difficult not to “have breakfast every morning with the media,” but “time has come to give room for younger people. I will, however, continue collaborating with my party where I can be of use.”
González will take over
González will take over the function as premier of the region of Madrid and will be ratified by the regional parliament, where Aguirre has strong support. 
It remains to be seen, however, who will be the candidate in the next regional election, given that the relation between González and the party headquarter could have been better and there are many anti-Aguirre at the headquarter who will want to avoid his candidacy.
For the time being, Aguirre will continue as head of the Popular party in Madrid, although she said she wants to find a solution as soon as possible. She was clearly touched as she closed the press conference.