Tuesday, May 18

“I absolutely have to say that he was present all the time”


Madrid

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The Minister of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda, José Luis Ábalos, Socialist leader of maximum confidence of the Prime Minister, this Sunday defended “emphatically” the role of Pedro Sanchez in the prevention and development of the coordination system in which the Government has been working for days to avoid as far as possible the risks of the storm Filomena.

He has done so at a press conference after the reproaches of the Popular Party, which accuse the chief executive of “hiding” behind his ministers and not appearing to report on the situation. The popular also remember that Sánchez himself demanded the Government of Mariano Rajoy explanations and criticized them for their management in previous storms of less intensity.

The President of the Government has traveled this morning at 11.30 am to the headquarters of the Ministry of the Interior to preside over the meeting of the State Committee for Coordination and Direction of the National Civil Protection System (CECOD) together with the Ministers of the Interior, Fernando Grande-Marlaska, and Transport.

«I have been dispatching intensely since day 6 with the Prime Minister and all actions have been supervised by him, It is the President of the Government who has followed the entire operation, and today he was present at the meeting to receive first-hand information and foresee future actions ”, has expressed Ábalos. “It is not true, I have to say that it has been present all the time,” he continued.

The PP insists on the lack of explanations and self-criticism of the Government and reproaches Sánchez for acting too late in the administration. Although from Moncloa they do not want to enter a debate and argue that “there will be time for criticism and self-criticism; now we have to work.”

The chief executive did not begin to contact the presidents of the Autonomous Communities most affected by the storm until four o’clock yesterday afternoon. Although the night from Friday to Saturday thousands of transporters and private cars had already been trapped on the roads by the snow for hours.

The president made the calls almost 24 hours after Filomena began to collapse Madrid and other regions. He called, among others, Isabel Diaz Ayuso, president of the Community of Madrid, already José Luis Martínez-Almeida, mayor of the capital. The community most affected by what is considered the largest storm recorded in 50 years in the area. But not the only one: Aragon, Catalonia, the Valencian Community, Castilla y León, Castilla-La Mancha, Extremadura and La Rioja also registered incidents.

“Appeal to the utmost prudence”

This Sunday, the Government reported that “the state of the roads has improved appreciably”, although “165 roads are still closed to traffic, 3 of them on the main network.” The Moncloa reiterates its call “for the utmost caution and compliance with the authorities’ recommendations.”

Ábalos explained that “the operations of the Madrid-Barajas airport and trains with origin and destination in the capital remain suspended on Sunday morning. The Government made an effort yesterday to express their support and work to achieve “maximum coordination between administrations.”

The Minister of Transport defended that they had worked with an “unprecedented” forecast, but also admitted that they were “surprised by the magnitude of the storm.”

Sánchez and the ministers held a videoconference with different agencies and emergency services to receive “detailed information” on the situation caused by the storm Filomena and to find out what to expect in the coming days.

As reported by the Secretary of State for Communication, the Undersecretariat of the Interior, the General Directorate of Civil Protection, the General Directorate of Traffic, the Civil Guard Traffic Group, the General Police Station for Citizen Security, the State Operations Section participated in the telematic meeting. Major of the Civil Guard, General Secretariat of Infrastructures, General Directorate of Roads, Directorate of the Emergency Unit, General Directorate of Security of ADIF, General Directorate of Airports of AENA, General Directorate of Defense Policy, Military Emergency Unit ( UME), the AEMET and the Department of National Security.

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