1674641679 Antonio Munoz Mayor of Seville Out of respect for voters

Antonio Muñoz, Mayor of Seville: “Out of respect for voters, I will not incite fear of Vox”

Antonio Muñoz (La Rinconada, Seville, 63 years old) celebrates his one year anniversary as mayor of Seville this month after replacing Juan Espadas, who left the senior staff to try – unsuccessfully – to lead the Junta de Andalucía for the PSOE recapture. During this time, and using what he calls the “Seville method” of making politics (namely, making gains for the city outside of the political noise), he declassified investment for Line 3 of the Metro; she managed to persuade the Andalusian capital to host the space agency and implemented the 2023 budget with Ciudadanos. Now she faces the challenge of becoming the mayor of the most important city with a socialist councilor – a symbolic square for socialism – to revive The wave of the absolute majority of the PP in the municipality, which also swept the city of Seville, has not yet abated. He feels that pressure, but he draws it from the confidence that a “happy mayor” gives him. He is not afraid of the Moreno effect and although he does not see Pedro Sánchez as a brake, he assures that he will concentrate on management in the election campaign and will not stir up fear of Vox.

Question. Do you feel the pressure of being the candidate of the capital ruled by the PSOE?

Answer. I can feel the pressure. No doubt I see that as a great political responsibility.

Q It took her predecessor Juan Espadas six months to step down. Would these six months have been enough to make yourself known?

I didn’t have the whole time that I would have liked to give Muñoz the print in the mayor’s office.

R The more time a political leader has to make themselves known, the better. But the times and the decisions were what they were. I didn’t have as much time as I would have liked to put the stamp on Muñoz, which I tried to do this year.

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Q What is this Muñoz imprint? How do you take stock of this year in office?

R In a scenario of political noise, as mayor I tried to use a different method of making politics and the results are there. The budgets: Nobody gave a dime because we were able to set up the budgets in an election year and without an absolute majority and they will move forward. The Metro: A year ago it was unthinkable that the board and the ministry could reconcile interests, that they would think more about Seville and less about give and take, and this week the financing contract will be signed. And there was my role as a mediator, which I think is the role that suits me as mayor, to think about the people of Seville. The Space Agency: I think it’s a different way of doing politics: getting involved so the projects aren’t the Muñoz project, they’re city projects that try to push the city’s relevant issues forward without so much political noise.

Q He keeps repeating that the noise bothers him and that the national debate is making the election campaign difficult for him. How do you perceive this outcry on the streets, with embezzlement, sedition, the government’s legal reforms in the penal code, the verdicts of the law that only yes is yes…?

R What I perceive is the maturity of the neighbors. I think voters are mature enough to know that the mayor of Seville will be elected in May.

P. Will Sanchez stay?

R Not

Sánchez does not pull me off “

Q Your dominance depends on the formations to your left being united.

R I hope they go together. Beyond what suits me or not. Four candidacies should not be presented to leftists who do not feel identified with the PSOE.

Q PP polls conclude she could rule Seville with Vox. Sánchez alluded to the rally he recently shared with you on the Coalition of Fear. Will you follow this strategy?

R I will not resort to the strategy of scaring voters with Vox’s question, because if we learn about the proposals of this far-right party and its government actions in Castilla y León, the people of Seville are intelligent and mature enough to know what the Consequences would be if Vox ruled. Vox already has its resume as a political group. I will not feed the voice of fear because I respect the electorate.

Q What is your model for Seville?

R Seville is the capital of Andalusia and the third largest metropolitan area in Spain, and if it is to be a competitive city it must address three fundamental challenges. The first is anything related to sustainability and the fight against climate change. Second in business. In order to have a competitive economic sector, it must embrace the digital transformation and increase the number of businesses without having this over-reliance on tourism. And third, we need to reduce disparities between some areas and others within the city.

Antonio Muñoz, during the interview.Antonio Muñoz, during the interview.PACO PUENTES

Q Why isn’t a city like Seville too dependent on tourism?

R It is not inconsistent that in Seville we have a thriving tourism and that we are developing other sectors of the economy where we are not starting from scratch. In the industrial sector, we have the top-selling science and technology park in Spain, with more than 536 companies. We have an aeronautical park and the development lever that the Spanish Space Agency and the Free Zone and the Port Zone will mean with companies related to renewable energies. Seville will be a benchmark for the European green economy.

Q But the message that gets through is that Seville is all tourism, Easter and funfair.

R The shadow of the Giralda is too long and, from a tourism point of view, overshadows what is happening in other economic sectors. One of the goals of this year of government was to focus on a different Seville from an economic point of view. You have to know that today satellite components that fly to Mars and Jupiter are manufactured in Seville. Here’s a start-up company that diagnoses colon cancer early and markets it to more than 100 universities across the United States. This is Seville too. I like the slogan we use to promote the city, not only from a tourist point of view, namely the very famous and very unknown city of Seville.

The shadow of the Giralda is too long and overshadows what is happening in other economic sectors in terms of tourism.”

Q Six of the 12 poorest neighborhoods in Spain are in Seville.

R It makes me blush. The City Council has shown no inaction over the years, whoever governs, governs, but we are putting band-aids on a problem that requires a different kind of medicine, and that medicine means that the government of Spain and that of the Junta must agree to address the situation with an ambitious plan to change the direction these neighborhoods are taking. There has been no budgetary impact on the Spanish government and the junta, as I am claiming it should be. We are ready to lead, but if we only rely on local budgets, we will not be able to.

Q Speaking of neighborhoods, in the autonomous communities, the PP won in Seville and rose in traditionally socialist neighborhoods. Are you concerned about the Moreno Effect and the demobilization of your electorate?

R I’m not afraid of the Moreno Effect. People know that this is where the mayor of Seville is elected. No doubt part of my strategy will be to mobilize the neighborhoods where the PSOE has traditionally voted, and that means motivating them by addressing their often-forgotten demands.

Q He was referring to the very unknown city of Seville. Is a gay mayor a handicap for the very Marian city of Seville?

R no I feel absolute normality. What people appreciate is that there are no scams, that you show yourself for who you are. My approach to Marian Sevilla or the Seville Brotherhood was absolutely normal.

My approach to Marian Sevilla or the Seville Brotherhood was absolutely normal.”

Q He had always been reluctant to take part in this Brotherhood liturgy and now he seems enthusiastic.

R I really enjoy being mayor of Seville. I’ve said I feel like a happy mayor, and when I say happy, I don’t say it lightly because I’m burdened with responsibilities. The opposite of being happy or happy is being sad. I am the mayor of all Sevillians and I have to be present at the celebrations, whatever my particular beliefs.

Q Is Seville any closer to having capital city status after the recent meeting with the central government and the junta?

R I call for a legal framework for capital. I didn’t invent that Seville is the capital of Andalusia. The Statute of Autonomy says so, and I think there are a number of unique factors that justify this requirement. The Capital Act is not a law against anyone. I’m not asking, let alone reducing those that a coastal capital or an inland capital can have. Enough of having a complex to be the capital of Andalusia.

Q What do you think that Seville is always compared to Malaga?

R The competition between Andalusian cities seems very impolite to me. Andalusian cities need to cooperate and work together. Malaga had to reinvent itself when it lost the hotel complex in Torremolinos because it was unattractive, under a museum franchise model, but that model doesn’t apply to Seville. We have to take away the belief from people that just because Malaga is doing well doesn’t mean Seville has to be doing badly. Seville has a much more crucial role to play on the board of the Spanish state, it can’t just be a fun and happy city for people coming from Despeñaperros and up. It also needs to be a city that invests and attracts talent

Q After receiving billions of euros for the Expo, do you think Seville has been penalized?

R More than punished I think there was an unwritten mantra in the distribution of general state budgets and the junta with Seville that in 92 there was an exceptional investment. That weighed. What I want to say is that more than 30 years have passed since the Universal Exhibition of 1992 and Seville is piling up infrastructure backlogs that are a bottleneck for economic development: the backlogs of the S-40 ring road, the subway and the connection of the airport with Santa Justa station. That had to be solved now.

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