Biel Barceló accepts that the past few weeks have been difficult. There were the resignations of Pilar Carbonell (as tourism director-general) and Pere Muñoz from the Balearic Tourism Agency and then came the trip to Punta Cana. His replacement as vice-presiden and tourism minister, Bel Busquets, has created some tension in the government. He may decide to quit politics in the new year.
What are you thinking of doing?
For now, I'm still a member of parliament, but I will decide in January whether I will continue to be. I want to get a perspective. It will be my decision, but I will of course consult the party (Més). There are those who are encouraging me to stay on, but given everything that has happened, it may be best to take the next step and resign my seat. But whatever I decide, I will not be disappearing. I am committed to everything going well for Més, for Bel Busquets and for the government.
Do you feel disappointed?
There's a mixture of emotions. Disappointment, yes, but also anger, frustration and sadness. The criticism doesn't hurt me, if it is respectful and logical. What gets me is demagoguery and gratuitous criticism.
How do you think the party handled the crisis?
I knew from the outset that there were those who saw things differently to me. There is sufficient trust and working together for things to be said directly and not via messages in the media. I also understood that I was an easy target for the opposition and for those who have attacked us from the beginning. In order to strengthen the Més political project and the government's, it was much better, therefore, to step aside.
Is Bel Busquets the right person to be vice-president and tourism minister?
The department is very large. The vice-presidency has a very specific political profile. The ministry includes innovation, research, European funds, new technologies and tourism, which is the most important economically and also attracts the most media attention. She has great strength and very clear political ideas, which is what you need. I don't believe in a technocracy, and I consider there to be enough experienced people in the team to support Bel Busquets. She is well suited and will take to the job perfectly.
What is your opinion of President Armengol's reluctance (to support Busquets' appointment)?
Més took an important decision to put the leader of the party in the government, and I spoke to Francina Armengol about this. She had a different point of view about the tourism ministry. I told her that the party placed value on that position and that it had come to a different conclusion. We have a pact and we must respect it. Everything could have been easier and quicker, and there wouldn't have been an image of disagreement. But as of Monday, everything changed and we have to head in the same direction. I wouldn't give it any more importance. It is true, though, that some friction arose during the negotiations.
The government has shown a talent for dialogue and negotiation. Will your successor continue to show this with the tourism business sector?
I'm convinced that she will. This is how Bel Busquets goes about things. Busquets is not Biel Barceló, but it is the case that she is committed to taking forward policies that have been initiated. In order to achieve the goal for these policies, you have to listen to, talk with and collaborate with everyone. It's work that crosses different lines, it's multi-faceted, and Busquets will continue with dialogue and consensus.
To what do you attribute your differences with environmentalist groups?
Dialogue with the ecology movement has been very important, despite the differences over criteria. We are in favour of a sustainable model that conserves the land and the landscape. On this we are in agreement.
Is there a risk with the 2019 election?
Because of the 2015 result, the left at present has supremacy in the Balearics. We need to repeat the result in 2019 in order to continue current policies. Més, PSOE and Podemos should rise above tensions and frictions. There needs to be less party strategy and more coalition in order to grow together.
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