Saúl Ramírez affiliated with Ciudadanos since 2014, in July 2015 he decides to take the step and present himself to the primaries to head the list of the orange formation to the Congress of Deputies for Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and after winning the primary is proclaimed candidate.
After the general election of December 20, 2015, Ramírez was elected deputy in the Congress of Deputies and during the brief legislature was the spokesman of the party of Albert Rivera in the commissions of Finance and Public Administration and Employment and Social Security. These elections want to continue leading his current position in the Congress of Deputies to defend the rights of the Canary Islands.
What led you to liaise with politics?
The reason I stepped into politics is because I have an 11-year-old girl whom I adore and both my wife and I are investing an important capital towards her education and, nevertheless, I am aware that there are many young people who have studied in the best universities of the Canary Islands, but unfortunately do not have the opportunity to practice their degree, the same thing happens in many municipalities in Spain, so it has become a very serious problem that I think can be solved mainly through politics.
Another reason for my connection with politics was public figure Albert Rivera who made me see everything that was and is actually happening in the country, we shared many issues that we believe should be improved, which led me to take the plunge into politics with Ciudadanos.
What should be the qualities of a good politician?
Honesty above all, the ability to work hard and I would also say that, although it is very fashionable, you have to have resilience in politics as you have to face a few disappointments. When you are in Congress you enter with high hopes, thinking that you can change everything overnight and, unfortunately, the bureaucracy has a series of deadlines that make you realize that it is much more complex when it comes to change. And then you have the constitutional arithmetics, Ciudadanos have reached numerous agreements with both the PP and the PSOE and, I personally and many of my colleagues with Podemos and even with the independence parties in certain fields such as the Right of Autonomy.
What does the council contribute to you? Has your life changed after your years of mandate?
I always say that everything has its good side and its bad side, so of course I have to say that politics has changed my life, I do not have a chance to see my wife and my daughter every day which is what I would love and I believe that has been the biggest price I’ve had to pay. You also lose part of your anonymity, I loved being anonymous and, unfortunately, now people recognize me to some extent, but always in a positive light and not in a negative way.
All of the above has been quoted in negative terms, but there are also positive terms regarding my role in politics such as the ability to understand and see clearly how the state works, what causes can be changed to develop into a modern, progressive country. I really believe that when you know the Spain in which you live you realize the potential it has and it is a pity because a leading country in many elements and, in fact, when you see the ratios for example in the rate of transplants, patents, research, etc., that are outside of Spain but led by gifted Spaniards who unfortunately have emigrated due to not having the opportunities here. It makes you want to clap your hands to your head and consider changing two fundamental elements such as taking into account that in order to change this country it is necessary to invest in education oriented towards real needs and, of course, towards research, development and innovation. If we are capable of doing that, this country will have no boundaries.
“If we have the talent, if we have the training, let’s take advantage of it as a society to achieve progress and development in Spain”
Why did you consider abandoning politics?
I am one of those people who believes that politics has to be temporary, I think my political role should end in four years and should be terminated once I have finished with all the projects I had ongoing at the time. Projects that have not ended, since, unfortunately, we had an early election, only three years have elapsed since the term and I have been left pending the reform of the Civil Law, the new Pacto de Toledo, the new statutes of workers rights, a new law enforcement model… I have been left so many things that were already on track and needed to be completed in those years of term, which I think I have the responsibility to follow through, at least for as long as I consider able. And, if, in addition, we get this country to start investing in research, development and innovation, the native talent that has emigrated can return and whoever is here will have the resources to continue growing with the country, I will consider myself satisfied.
Why should the people vote for you in the up-coming elections?
Personally I can say that in the last surveys I have seen regarding work and proposals, what stands out is that we have had dedication and effort has been second to none, however, we are the number one representatives and also number two regarding the level of proposals, oral questions, etc., all that work that is fundamental for me.
Before you asked me the question about what qualities a politician should have, I believe it is honesty and dedication to work. We, of course, are dedicated, we are honest, we do not have any corruption scandal, we come from our civil society and, in addition, I believe that we are the only party that represents 21st century Spain. We must leave behind those political parties that delay the country with their proposals of improvements according to them and think about what the needs of this country are to be able to improve.
What does your party contribute to the people that other parties don’t?
The positive aspect that Ciudadanos has is that the only thing it can contribute is common sense and coherence and it is a vision towards the future. When a political party suggests that the country should go back to the Franco era and bring back the abortion law of 85, it is quite discouraging. In our party each and every one of the deputies we have worked in the private sector in different fields, meaning, we are people who have experience that we want to share at the service of the citizens and we have a political program that thinks about the XXI century.
What are your plans for the future for the city?
Mainly, I hope to leave with my head held high and completing the projects that I commented before:
-A new model of statutes of workers’ rights, where we end mainly temporality.
-Guarantee sustainable and dignified pensions
-The situation in Catalonia; we must end once and for all the act of rebellion and division that is taking place in Catalan society which is dividing all Spaniards in consequence.
If we are able to solve said problems and focus on Spain in the century we currently live in will be our main goal for the next years of mandate.
How do you see the political future in general?
At a national level, honestly, I think it will be very difficult, it will be a very divided parliament, but if Ciudadanos have shown something in the time that we have been present is that we seek agreements and try to find the best solution for the Spanish people.
We also have very important challenges in the economic sphere, unfortunately the Canary Islands leads in the worst ratios with regards to healthcare, school failure, but we´re not tight, because when it comes down to a resource issue, this year we have a budget of 9 billion euros in the Canarian community approximately, 30% of which goes to healthcare, that is, about 3.3 billion euros are spent on healthcare, but the question is whether they are investing it well.
When we run our mouths talking about how we’re a modern, social and democratic state, we must use political resources to improve social policies, etc. We agree with everything, but we must remember that public money comes out of all the citizens pockets, therefore, I believe that the ultimate responsibility is to handle that money well.