The PP’s Secretary for International Affairs, Valentina Martínez Ferro, describes José Manuel Albares’ first six months at the head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as “a huge disappointment” and reproaches him for “being absent” from major European issues.
In an interview with Europa Press, Martínez regrets that the arrival of Albares, a career diplomat, at the Palace of Santa Cruz has not brought about any “surprising changes” in the major foreign policy issues for Spain, such as relations with Morocco and Algeria, the EU and relations with the countries on the other side of the Atlantic, both the United States and Latin America. “I would like to say the opposite,” she assures.
The PP deputy said she was extremely disappointed with the Foreign Affairs Minister, stating that “Spain is still in absolute international irrelevance, with the wrong allies and without a clear agenda of interests”.
“Spain is currently not respected abroad,” she laments, stressing that this is due to the fact that both the President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, and Albares “do not make themselves respected” and neither do they have a clear agenda or strategy.
In Europe, she believes that “there is a lack of stature and political stature”, which means that “we are not present in the current major European issues”, while at the same time the government does not take a position on the crisis in Ukraine or Kazakhstan.
“Albares cannot be absent from all the crises”, she maintains, reproaching the minister for having “disappeared” over Christmas, which is why the PP has asked him to appear before the Congress of Deputies to explain Spain’s position on what is happening in both Ukraine and Kazakhstan.
With regard to Latin America, she considers that Albares “continues on the same path that Arancha González Laya started and that he has a Zapatistas’ vocation”, and denounces, in particular, that the Government does not recognise the opposition leader Juan Guaidó as president in charge of Venezuela, after he was re-elected to the post this week and the United States has given him its backing.
Martínez is also very critical of the lack of progress in resolving the diplomatic crisis with Morocco, and asked how the PP believes it could move towards resolving the crisis, Martínez admits that they have no master plan, but in any case what is clear is that “what the minister is doing is not working” so “we would do the opposite”.
Furthermore, according to the MP, “the strong internal complications” that he has to deal with in the Ministry “occupy a large part of his time”. In this sense, she mentions the recent dismissal of the Secretary of State for the EU, Juan González-Barba, or the decision to withdraw the plácet that two ambassadors had already received -one of them Camillo Villarino, Laya’s chief of staff and investigated in the ‘Ghali case’-, considering it “historic” that the government is making amends to itself.
The minister “has demonstrated his inability to have a good relationship with his teams and his people” and “this is not making it easier for him to communicate with other ministers”, Martínez believes, pointing out, for example, that he has not yet met with his Moroccan counterpart, Nasser Bourita.