Neither Liberals, nor Cs, nor anything. After the first meeting of the political team coordinating the re-establishment of Ciudadanos, the spokesman for the working group, Guillermo Díaz, appeared this Monday at the central headquarters of the formation in Madrid, at an aseptic lectern with a white background and from which any identification with the brand of the party has disappeared. No trace of the orange color that characterizes the Arrimadas Formation, nor of the labeling that has always existed. “We are very aware that we have to make difficult decisions. Without determination, we won’t get any further,” Díaz emphasized in his speech.
Among these “difficult” choices, a possible change of name and color is considered. Any proposal that comes from the militancy or from the organic positions of the party is analyzed by the commission that directs the “catharsis” of Ciudadanos. “I would like to make an appeal to all members, to all sympathizers, to everyone who believes that a space like ours is necessary,” Díaz said in reference to the “listening process” that begins this week and will last six months. But with the appearance of this Monday, it is possible to glimpse, at least in the forms and transmission of the message of re-foundation, where the tabula rasa to which the formation points is leading.
Between the press conference at which the President of Ciudadanos, Inés Arrimadas, presented the roadmap for the renewal of Cs, and that of Díaz this Monday, only a week has passed and there has been a single meeting of the team G-8 – how they named the working group made up of the eight leaders who are directing the start-up. Despite this, the differences are already clear: outside the words Liberals and Cs in the photo. Furthermore, the only lettering that could be read during the intervention of the group’s spokesman – Equipo para la Refundación #Contamoscontigo – was drawn in blue instead of the party’s characteristic orange. A blue that obeys the color of the European liberals, with whom Ciudadanos is in constant contact, drawing on the experience of its partners in Europe on this path of re-establishment, and with whom they intend to meet soon.
Arrimadas at a press conference a week ago and Díaz this Monday.
Management sources admit that the set design was planned to convey the idea that the group is fully entering “a process of change” with an “open mind” and that every postulate is “questionable”. The strategy also envisages distinguishing the founding team from that of the Ciudadanos executive in this way. A differentiation that has not gone down well with other leaders. Sources from the leadership criticize that the party has started to take obvious steps in its transformation and keep the party executive out of the decisions. “That’s bullshit,” complains a high-ranking official about the work of the refounding team.
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One of the novelties announced this Monday was precisely the distribution of the areas corresponding to each of the members of the reestablishment team: the Deputy Mayor of Madrid, Begoña Villacís, will be in charge of political coordination; Deputy Guillermo Díaz will be the spokesman and manage the group’s communications; MEP Adrián Vázquez, the Executive Coordination; the spokeswoman in the Balearic Islands, Patricia Guasp, Regional Action and Finance; the City Council of Madrid Mariano Fuentes, Ideas and Axes of Renewal; Deputy María Muñoz, Institutional policies and economic reforms; the mayor of Ciudad Real, Eva Masías, local action and communalism; and Santa Coloma candidate Dimas Gragera, Organization, Mobilization and Militancy.
The division of duties has also raised concerns among other board members because, according to these sources, it means delegating executive powers or organizational changes to a specific group — that G-8 — apart from the rest of the executive branch, from whom those attributions are assumed. But Villacís and Díaz also belong to the permanent executive. The founding team will meet weekly and must update the executive regularly on progress, as requested last week after criticism of the confidentiality agreement preventing them from revealing the contents of the plan of attack.
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