Saturday, December 10

Reyes Maroto, the low-profile negotiator who went from the pools to the candidacy for mayor of Madrid

Sometimes in politics the management of expectations is complicated and this is what has happened, once again, to the PSOE with the candidacy for the Madrid City Council. After the dismissal of the Government delegate, Mercedes González, which stirred up some sectors of the party –more because of the forms than because of the decision–, the noise increased with the decision to postpone the primary process. Finally it will be Reyes Maroto (Medina del Campo, 1973), Pedro Sánchez’s eternal pool for the Madrid federation.

The PSOE delays the primaries to elect a candidate in the Madrid City Council

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The Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism has been a recurring name for the Madrid elections since 2019. An economist by profession, her first approach to the PSOE was through the IDEAS foundation and, later, as an advisor to the socialist group in the European Parliament . But her entry into active politics was precisely in the Madrid Assembly, to which she arrived in 2015 as number 20 of the candidacy with which Ángel Gabilondo stayed at the gates of the regional government. Those who shared a seat with her highlight her capacity for work and meticulousness, although she has always maintained a very low profile that has made her always appear in the pools to leave the Government in the remodeling that Pedro Sánchez has undertaken.

And it is that she was an unknown when in June 2018 the president, who since they coincided almost a decade ago has held her in high esteem, took her to the Government after the motion of censure, and four and a half years later, her index of knowledge is 49.6%, according to the latest survey by the Center for Sociological Research, despite the fact that she herself has recognized that she will be the Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism who will be in the post the longest. “The way I am going to present the campaign is a way in which I work, which is to be on the street”, she has expressed after formally announcing her candidacy. In this work of hers, she trusts that the people of Madrid know her and that they see in her “the ideal candidate”.

“Sánchez has always protected her,” says a well-known insider of the party. In the last electoral campaign of the Community of Madrid, Sánchez placed Maroto as Gabilondo’s future economic vice president. Although she was not on the list, she campaigned very actively. In those days she was one of the leaders, along with Fernando Grande-Marlaska, Pablo Iglesias or the director of the Civil Guard, who received a threatening letter. The minister appeared before the media with the document of the complaint in which the photo of the bloody knife that she had received was seen. In her case, she came from an individual with serious mental disorders.

At the head of the ministry, he has managed to quell several important fires for the Government: he had a fundamental role in the Cadiz metal crisis, where he managed to sit down employers and unions; he sponsored an agreement in the Siro biscuit company in Castilla y León; he traveled to the United States to negotiate with the leadership of Alcoa the reopening in Galicia and Asturias; they attribute to him having obtained new investors in Abengoa and Alu Ibérica and also the award of a Hub for the Nissan facilities in Barcelona. In recent days, the Government has targeted him with millions of investments, such as that of Volkswagen for the gigafactory in Sagunto, or those of Maersk and Cisco.

The announcement of his candidacy, which was initially scheduled for last Monday after several weeks of delay, was delayed precisely so that the closure of the PERTE of the electric vehicle with Volkswagen and Seat would be announced beforehand. “They are going to have to call it Milagros and not Reyes”, jokes a collaborator. The formalization of the step forward has occurred at the opening of a conference on tourism organized by Europa Press. “We couldn’t wait any longer,” they say in the socialist leadership given that the minister is traveling to South Korea this Tuesday and the formal primary process, to which she has to present herself although she will not foreseeably have a rival, starts next week.

His management has not had great controversy beyond a few words after the eruption of the La Palma volcano that he had to qualify later after saying that it was a “wonderful spectacle of nature” that could become a tourist “claim”.

Of an affable nature, Maroto is aware that one of the handicaps of her candidacy is that she is a resident of Alcorcón, where she is also a member of the party. That is why both her and her team make an effort to say that she “lives” in Madrid because that is where she works while she “sleeps” in the suburban city “like many people from Madrid”. The minister, who intends to put up with her portfolio until the electoral candidacies are officially published, as Salvador Illa did in the Catalan elections, will have to face José Luis Martínez-Almeida at a time when the socialists see more options in the city council than in the community, although one of the reasons for his election was precisely that he will stay four years working in the council, even if it is in the opposition and not as has happened with the rest of the paratroopers chosen by Ferraz or Moncloa in recent years. She has six months ahead of her and the challenge of removing the PSOE from fourth position in the capital. “I am very persevering and when I set out to do something I always try to reach the goal”, declared Maroto, who in the socialist ranks emphasize that she is “a born worker” who at least will not give the fright.

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