Wednesday, October 20

Albert Rivera, a happy life outside politics: «He will not return»




On November 11, 2019, the day that Albert Rivera resigned after the electoral debacle of 10-N, the former president of Citizens (Cs) intoned a declaration of intent: “Life is much more than politics.” He then promised, in an emotionally charged speech that penetrated the atmosphere of a desolate headquarters, that he would be “the best father, best son, best friend and best partner.” And in those it is.

Those who know him best outside his family nucleus, his friends and former colleagues who have fought together in so many battles, agree on the fundamentals: they do not believe that he will return to politics, at least “in the short and medium term.” Only the prudence required by the Spanish proverb – “Never say this water I will not drink and this priest is not my father” – prevents them from closing that door completely.

Last week, the intention of the PP Rivera’s participation in his national convention in October sparked rumors of a possible incorporation into popular ranks to jointly confront the sanchism. “Speculation more than reality,” says a person who knows him well, who highlights how satisfied he is in his new stage.

The truth is that the CatalanAt 41, he is rediscovering a life that he gave up very young to throw on his back a combative political project in the face of impositions. nationalists and the assignments bipartisan. A stroke of luck as a result of chance – he was elected the first president of Cs in alphabetical order – but which kept him for thirteen years devoted body and soul to “serving his country.”

Back to the legal profession

Lawyer by profession, studied Law at the Ramon Llull University, Rivera kept a promise that he made countless times. Months after his goodbye, in March 2020, Rivera returned to his professional activity and announced his incorporation to the law firm Martínez-Echevarría, today renamed Martínez Echevarría & Rivera, and took with him to his right hand, Jose Manuel Villegas, former secretary general of Cs.

Now, according to all the sources consulted by ABC, the former politician is happy and motivated with his work, which he combines with teaching at the Institute of Leadership and Political Training of the Cardenal Cisneros Higher Education Center, attached to the Complutense University of Madrid.

“He is living very well at a professional level, developing, contributing ideas, he has freedom and has gotten rid of the burden of having to constantly be accountable to public opinion,” says a close friend of Rivera. In the law firm, adds another source, he also exploits one of his main virtues: his enormous capacity to “seduce” and “attract talent.” Something that has already been fully demonstrated in Cs with its policy of transferring profiles from civil society.

“Earn twenty times more”

To this, different ex-colleagues of Rivera add the Economic factor. “He is earning twenty times more than he would earn in politics,” they point out in his environment. He is delighted. For fifteen years he has not had weekends and has earned ridiculous salaries compared to now, “adds another authoritative voice.

In March 2020, Rivera joined the Martínez-Echevarría law firm
In March 2020, Rivera joined the Martínez-Echevarría law firm – ABC

In his day to day, Rivera usually works in Madrid, in the office that the firm has in the capital, but also travels frequently. Specially to Málaga, the firm’s cradle, which you can go to once or twice a week. With less assiduity he moves to other points of Portugal and of Spain when you meet a client.

The labor plane joins the personal aspect. “He has discovered that there is social life,” jokes a friend of his, who states that from the age of twenty-six, the age at which he assumed command of Cs, he had sacrificed many vital plots for the party. Now, he visits his fathers, see more of his daughter Daniela –The oldest– and enjoy time with her partner, the singer Small, and with his daughter Lucy, who turned one year old on Tuesday 6th. They like to escape to the Portuguese coast.

Albert Rivera, with his daughter Daniela.  From behind, Malú with Lucía, daughter of her and the former politician
Albert Rivera, with his daughter Daniela. From behind, Malú with Lucía, daughter of her and the former politician – ABC

He maintains a relationship and friendship with several of his former colleagues. Especially with Villegas, Juan Carlos Girauta, Fran Hervías, Marcos de Quinto O Fernando de Paramo, among others, but also maintains the link with people who follow in Cs as Begoña Villacís, Miguel Gutierrez Y Guillermo Diaz. With others, such as the former vice president of the Community of Madrid Ignacio Aguado, their shared passion will always remain: swimming and water sports.

Relationship with your hard core

With his closest friends, who were part of his narrowest leadership and abandoned their organic responsibilities with him, he meets for lunch or dinner from time to time, when schedules fit together. But above all they talk on the phone or chat on WhatsApp. “We talk about everything except politics,” say some of them, stressing that personal relationships remain above all. Although there are anecdotes from day to day, such as the penultimate gaffe of the government, that sneak in between talks. With whom he does not talk about politics, unless they require advice on some occasion, it is with those who are still in the direction of Cs. “He said he did not want to be a Chinese vase and he does so to the letter,” says a member of the Standing Committee of Cs. His link with politics also extends to other parties, especially the PP, from where Pablo Casado, for example, he calls you sometimes to get your opinion.

A jump to the PP?

However, the sources consulted limit the relationship with the PP to something professional, such as when the popular ones hired Rivera’s office to write the appeal of unconstitutionality against the Catalan rental law, and they rule out that Rivera is Casado’s ‘personal advisor’ or that he works for the PP. Most of his old friends also believe that he will not attend the PP national convention in October. “He is not in it, he does not paint anything there,” says a source, although another doubts it.

Most of the sources consulted believe that he will not go to the PP convention in October

Return to active politics? «One hundred percent ruled out. At least in the short and medium term ”, ditches a former leader of Cs. There are several who believe that he will not go on any electoral list and that this is more due to a desire of the PP than to an objective possibility. On his incorporation into a hypothetical government of Casado as vice president O Minister There are discrepancies – some see it as feasible and others not – but they do agree on a complication: “Albert is a leader, a number one. I don’t see him as number two of anybody ».

“At most, if Casado is president, he could be his vice president or his minister of Foreign Affairs”

It is not unthinkable, admits someone close to him, that at some point “break his silence.” According to this source, Rivera distrusts the possibilities of Cs subsistence and his pragmatism, “it is not known when”, will lead him to support in one way or another the one with the greatest capacity to unseat him. Pedro Sanchez of the government. He hasn’t done it yet, he says, out of respect for many Cs affiliates who consider him “an idol.” But Rivera will be and is, as his book says, ‘A free citizen’.

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