Never a signing had so stirred the ranks of the PP of Castilla y León and it was never handled with greater opacity. The former Citizens deputy and responsible for Silvia Clemente’s failed jump to the orange ranks, Pablo Yáñez, is the brand new advisor to the president of the Valladolid Provincial Council and the provincial PP, Conrado Íscar. Neither in the national leadership of the party, nor in the Diputación, nor in the PP of Valladolid, nor in that of Castilla y León, did they know of Yáñez’s landing until it was published in the press, which has created a deep malaise in his closest circle of collaborators and that includes his chief of staff and provincial coordinator of the PP, Rodrigo Nieto.
Yáñez, whom Íscar considers “brilliant”, according to PP sources, lacks achievements. He bounced out of Ciudadanos when the bump was discovered in the primaries that Francisco Igea and Clemente were contesting, and ended his incipient political career, but also that of Clemente, forged over decades.
Who will pay for Yáñez’s services is a mystery that neither of the two involved wants to clarify. Conrado Íscar did not want to attend elDiario.es. Neither did Pablo Yáñez. From the Provincial Council of Valladolid they assure that the Popular Provincial Group has nothing to do with it, although they point out that the “photographer” who arrives from the hand of the former citizen will be paid. They link Yáñez’s work to a “personal decision” by Íscar, who a little over a week ago, after a board of directors of the PP in Valladolid, commented to several people that he had hired him and that it was he who had organized that meeting. Those who were in that meeting describe what happened as “nonsense” organized by someone “who has no bloody idea of what a party meeting is.” It was held in Zaratán, a town in the Alfoz of Valladolid, and a “very small place, with hardly any light” was chosen. What is generally a meeting of an organic and administrative type, seemed like a campaign act “with a master of ceremonies who was introducing the intervening parties, to whom she reported” and with people from the party with ‘organization’ cards pinned to their clothes. .
From a lingerie store to the PP of Valladolid and with the company on behalf of a former candidate from Melilla
Yáñez was looking for a new position in politics with little results until Íscar has decided to have him as an advisor. In April 2019, when not a month had passed since his departure from Ciudadanos, he created, or so he says, Aquilea Comunicación SL an agency based in Valladolid that claims to have “set up” himself but that it is not in his name, but at of a former candidate of Ciudadanos Melilla for the Senate in the 2008 elections that no one knows in Castilla y León, neither in political nor advertising circles. Aquilea’s clients include a large-size lingerie store in Barcelona, a religious school in Soria and a Galician winery, as well as the San Sebastián de los Reyes City Council (PSOE-Ciudadanos), a real estate agency, a Valladolid law firm or an agrotourism hotel in Mallorca.
The company, which has no shareholders, had in its first year, with eight months of existence, a turnover of 92,163 euros and closed with a negative balance of 6,073 euros. In 2020, the turnover fell to 22,480 euros, but closed positively, with 4,221 euros. Although a team of six people appears on the Aquilea website, it has only one employee, although the first year there were two. Therefore, it cannot be considered a successful company.
A year ago, Yáñez began knocking on the doors of the parties for them to hire strategic advice with his agency. In October of last year he wanted to enter the Valladolid City Council with the help of the Popular Municipal Group, which rejected his services, to enhance the image of the mayoral candidate and former Minister of Economy Pilar del Olmo, and to carry out critical campaigns against the mayor , the socialist Óscar Puente. Their rates range between 300 and 2,000 euros.
On the Aquilea website, Yáñez, who appears as “CEO and director”, defines himself as an “expert in public and institutional communication” who “during the last ten years has developed his work in the field of political communication, participating in the direction of electoral campaigns in Spain, Latin America and the United States “. He also boasts having “coordinated communication, press and social media teams in the field of communication innovation processes” and having “experience in the press, radio and television media.”
The reality is that Yáñez has quite limited experience: a handful of interviews as the youngest deputy in the XI Legislature, (2015) that lasted six months. He failed to revalidate his seat in the following. By then, the young politician’s apprentice scaled the most veteran of Ciudadanos. In his declaration of assets, obligatory for the deputies, Pablo Yáñez did not include a single current account, or work income, despite the fact that until he hooked up the act, he had been working, curiously, as an adviser to Citizens in the Valladolid County Council , with an annual salary of 41,323 euros.
He has never developed any work in the media and lacks the most basic training for it. Although he began his career in Political Science, he did not finish it, nor did that of Communication, although for four years he was the secretary of communication for Citizens in Castilla y León. His work was carried out mainly in the regional Parliament, where he did not leave a good memory even among his party colleagues.
As a political strategist, they say, it leaves a lot to be desired, but there is also evidence of it. In 2016, while coordinating the campaign in the Galician elections, the lettering of the Ciudadanos bus was famous, in which not only was the slogan misspelled in Galician, but even the flag had the stripe upside down. The result was not good, Citizens left the regional parliament.
Rivera’s “follower” who was stopped by the Civil Guard
How did Yáñez, a young man without experience or training, come to Ciudadanos? following their leader, Albert Rivera, everywhere, to the point of giving him some fright. In 2007, Rivera had an escort, he had received his photo with a bullet. When he was returning from a meeting with supporters in Valladolid, his then press officer realized that a car had been too many kilometers behind them and notified the Civil Guard. The 18-year-old boy who was driving that suspicious vehicle was Yáñez, who introduced himself as a “follower.” I did not lie. Little by little, he made a place for himself in a party that was beginning its national expansion. “He sold smoke,” say former teammates, and Rivera bought it for him. He had so much confidence in him that the company ‘Low Cost Political Campaigns’, Yañez’s first business venture, was domiciled at the then Citizens’ headquarters in the Plaza de Urquinaona in Barcelona.
It was because of that trust in Yáñez that Rivera accepted the proposal to sign Clemente, who in 2019 was president of the Cortes of Castilla y León and was a member of the PP. Some tried to warn the national leadership that it was not a good idea, there were more shadows than lights on Clemente, but the criteria of Yáñez, the man who had materialized that signing, prevailed.
From the PP they predict an uncertain future for Íscar. Incorporating the former citizen into their ranks without consulting either the national or regional leadership, and with such a curriculum behind them, they say, has been a very bad idea. The vice president of the Board, Francisco Igea is the only one who dares to speak publicly on the matter, but with irony: “Let me be merciful this time … with small letters,” he said last Thursday with some sarcasm.