Rocío Ruiz: «My resignation would not solve the blockade with Vox;  is an excuse"

Welcoming these minors from Ceuta is a matter of humanity. And for that reason blocking the development of the Andalusian Land Law is a mistake. I do not understand it and the Andalusians will not understand it

The Minister of Equality, Social Policies and Conciliation, Roco Ruiz.GOGO LOBATO

He has lost count of the times that Vox has asked for his resignation since the start of the legislature. Manages Equality policies and the care of immigrant minors: two of the issues of the bad name culture battle that those of Vox have reactivated in Andalusia due to the risk of electoral stagnation. But Roco Ruiz, Minister of Equality and Social Policies, has survived. Even to the onslaught of her own, who put her in the pillory when her name began to sound in Cs Andaluca as an alternative to Juan Marn.

You know that you have become a fuse for the Andalusian Government. His dismissal could be the balm to iron out the differences with Vox in the remainder of the legislature.
I don’t think I’m the problem. Not even my resignation would solve it. The conflict over the 13 minors in Ceuta is just an excuse. It is a decision made based on a partisan strategy from my wrong point of view. Welcoming these minors from Ceuta, which is a Spanish city that must be helped in an emergency situation, is a matter of humanity. And therefore blocking the development of the Land Law is a mistake. I do not understand it and the Andalusians are not going to understand it.
The Andalusian Government is considering advancing the elections if the blockade continues?
We will once again bring the Land Law to Parliament and I am sure that, above electoral strategies, common sense will prevail. The only thing I ask of all the deputies is that they listen to the people in the street.
Have you received pressure from the PP or your party to refuse to receive foreign minors from Ceuta?
Look, we have acted on the basis of an inexcusable legal and moral obligation. But it is that, in addition, Andalusia has achieved an integration model that is proving very positive. One in three young people who have participated in our social and labor integration plans have found a job. And that is a success that is recognized even by the central government. Doing anything else would be immoral.
But, at first, you said that Andaluca could no longer serve minors.
Look, I said that we know that this summer the migratory pressure may intensify, once the parenthesis of the pandemic is over. And that we cannot return to the model of overcrowding in large shelters, because that is not giving adequate attention to children and because it is these models that generate social conflict. For this reason, when there was talk of a distribution between the communities, I wanted to make it clear that in Andalusia we already have 1,700 foster children and that this summer more may come. Only in the month of May more than 70 have arrived. And when we had a migration crisis in 2018 and 2019, then the Government did not speak of distribution, despite the fact that a solidarity plan was requested from Andalusia. And in 2020 they withdrew the extraordinary financing. We are the southern border of Europe, next to Ceuta ?, Melilla and the Canary Islands. However, in the Interterritorial Council it was explained to us that it was a matter of welcoming only 13 boys and we accepted it without the slightest objection. And I did so with the full support of the Chairman of the Board, with whom I expressly spoke.
Vox accused him of causing an effect called for saying about the minors: Here we are waiting for them.
They took out of context a sentence uttered in a debate that lasted four hours. I was talking then about the device prepared for eventual arrivals in the summer. We have reserved places and we are prepared for what may come because that is our competence.
He has asked for a State plan for the care of these minors.
Yes, and it seems that the Secretary of State for Migration has understood it. This is not a conjunctural issue and it has to be dealt with in a structural way: with a state model of reception, extraordinary financing, a solidarity distribution between communities and, most importantly, a plan for the prevention of child emigration in the countries of origin.
Why is family reunification not possible?
It is always tried with all children, not just with foreigners. But it is essential to ensure that families are in a position to care for them. And, in the case of foreigners, there is practically no collaboration whatsoever from the governments of the countries of origin.
And is it not possible for Morocco to assume guardianship?
There are many difficulties in doing this because Morocco has a very weak child protection system.
What have you done to reduce the dependency’s waiting lists?
To start with, introduce an additional € 270 million in budget so far this legislature. Because under-financing is a structural problem of dependency, not only in Andalusia. And we are going to set up an electronic window and hire 700 professionals to streamline the entire valuation process. When the legislature ends, we will have increased the number of places available in residences by 1,565. To give you an idea, in the entire previous legislature only 263 new positions were created.
At the beginning of the legislature, the pressure it now receives for the reception of foreign minors was focused on equality issues.
Look, we were told that we were going to eliminate the telephone against gender violence or the Andalusian Institute for Women (IAM). And none of that has happened. Furthermore, the IAM has an armored budget and management transparency has been improved. We have already executed 45 million euros of the State Pact against Gender Violence, when in 2018 barely 250,000 euros were executed.
When will we know who will be the candidate for Cs in Andalusia?
We are not at that stage now. We are moving forward with many projects. For example, the Children’s Law. Or the decrees to improve the model for nursing homes. Or the new vital income, which will replace the minimum income and overcome its welfare character. We have 3 million people living in poverty, a poverty that is inherited from parents to children. See if there are things left to do. And for all that, in Ciudadanos we will continue to bet on moderate coalition governments like the one we have in Andalusia. The role of Ciudadanos has to be to stand up to populisms, which are the true enemies of democracy: those of the extreme right and the extreme left.
His government will be moderate, but it needs the votes of the extreme right as this week has shown.
No one can deny Citizens that we are economically liberal and socially progressive. We have supported the Euthanasia Law, the Trans Law and the rights of the LGTBI collective. And the Board has organized the first trans camp for adolescents. And we have implemented the third box in public documents, because not all of us respond to a gender binary model. And we are going to speak out against hate crimes. And all that I have carried out, don’t ask me how (laughing), because it has been difficult, but I have done it. I know that I am a reference at the national level, because my colleagues tell me.
Are you the candidate of Ciudadanos in the Andalusian elections?
Well, we are not at that moment. We are relaunching the project. I always be ready for whatever my party wants. Here I will be at your disposal. And whatever the militants want, who are the truly important ones.

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