a “hard” negotiator to replace Iglesias


Posted: Sunday June 13 2021 7:34 AM

Those who know Ione Belarra, Minister of Social Affairs and, clearly, next Secretary General of Podemos, say that she is a very passionate woman. That’s what he does, he really does. Whether it is organizing a parliamentary group, getting angry, negotiating deals for a coalition government or taking over the reins of a party that was heading towards the departure of its historic leader.

Perhaps this is because, really, Ione Belarra Urteaga (Pamplona, ​​September 25, 1987) always had what others would consider lost causes. Or maybe it is because, quite simply, Belarra has always been there. In a second row, until, after losing so many chips, it’s his turn.

Seasoned in activism and academic research, Belarra was met by the general public when, supported by her friend and patron Irene Montero, who was on maternity and parental leave, she had to act as spokesperson for Podemos. It has rained a lot since then.

Belarra was greeted by the general public when, supported by her friend and boss Irene Montero, who was on maternity and parental leave, she had to assume the spokesperson for Podemos.

So much so that despite the fact that everything indicated that the current Minister of Equality would be the one to inherit the leadership of the party when Pablo Iglesias took a step back, now, unless the surprise jumps, it will be her who gets votes from supporters and affiliates of Vistalegre 4 this weekend to be the brand new general secretary.

She, who is outside the founding circle of Podemos and one of her first roles in training was to be charged with applause on the bench, the role equivalent to the theatrical slap. Substantial work, until now reaching the top.

From the first minute with Irene Montero

Belarra’s career has always been one of small steps in the shadows, little by little, a long journey. Daughter of a lawyer and a psychologist, her greatest political virtue is that of resisting and being, rather than standing out in the front line of theory or oratory among the executives of the political formation.

It was like that from the first moment, Podemos sources at LaSexta point out, when, thanks to the parliamentary muscle that the party achieved in the 2015 elections, Irene Montero was able to start building her team and remembered ‘a colleague of the faculty, when both They were studying psychology at the Autonomous University of Madrid, to make it their first contract. Your assistant.

Daughter of a lawyer and a psychologist, her greatest political virtue is that of resisting and being, rather than standing out in the front line of theory or oratory among the executives of the political formation.

Because Montero and Belarra were already friends. A duo bathed in mutual trust and based on common interests: not only were they studying the same degree – albeit in different years – but their specialization was the same: educational psychology.

This residue continues, despite the years. Or maybe thanks to it. “They have an affinity, years together, activism and being friends. They blend in very well, they understand each other. It’s like working with someone you know and love a lot, and you don’t have to tell them anything because at a glance you can already understand each other. Everything is greased, ”they smile from the surroundings of Montero in conversation with this channel.

Always on the immigration side

However, the professional beginnings of the two took different paths. Belarra, after graduating from a PF Social Integration in 2007, graduating in 2012 and completing her master’s degree in 2014, flirted with the labor market on the immigration front.

His previous political experience is related to the Red Cross Youth, SOS Racismo and the Spanish Commission for Refugee Assistance (CEAR)

He did this through two grants, one for training and the other for undergraduate research. Also to his previous experience in NGOs, which include the Youth Red Cross, SOS Racismo and the Spanish Commission for Refugee Assistance (CEAR).

It was then, they detail to her close entourage, that the episode occurred that finally pushed her into the political arena: the sudden expulsion of a migrant friend.

A policy “with light”

Although she is known for her harsh and belligerent tone, especially in recent times and thanks to clashes with government colleagues like the Defense Minister, her colleagues stress that this is a policy “with light. “. “She’s one of those people you talk to her with and she’s a good person.” She is important because of her activism: she was closely linked to migrants, the homeless … people on the margins and it was difficult for them to care much about them. He always fought a lot ”.

It was Belarra who signed Serigne Mbayé, the Senegalese spokesperson for the Union des manteros de Madrid, for the Madrid Assembly during these last regional elections.

“He hasn’t forgotten where it came from: social activism. He has not forgotten this contact with the movements. I think it’s a person – in politics, there are a lot of people who see the forest but not the trees – who goes into the details of things. Specifically, ”they comment from the United We Can bench.

Precisely, thanks to his link with migrants – which has not been diluted, they recall, since he is in politics – that the candidacy of Serigne Mbayé, the Senegalese spokesperson for the Madrid union manteros, was forged in the Madrid Assembly these last regional elections, which finally obtained the act. It was she, whom they need from the game, who signed it.

A born organizer

Beyond their political convictions, what emerges from all the people who have met Belarra is “his capacity for work”. Always armed with papers, files, a multicolored pen to organize a workload to which she never says no.

“Ione is always available, always on the phone. Answer very quickly, whatever the time, ”they slip. “But that does not prevent her from being reconciled”, they specify, since Belarra was a mother in May 2020 and also found love in the party. His partner, Ignacio Ramos Delgado, is currently adviser to the parliamentary group in the Congress of Deputies.

Belarra became a mother in May 2020 and also found love in the game. Your partner is an advisor to the Congress

Very close to both Iglesias himself – who first signed her to Secretary of State in 2030, and elected her his deputy head of the Ministry of Social Affairs when he decided to ” attending the Madrid elections – as well as the deputies Rafa Mayoral, Pablo Echenique, Noelia Vera or Sofía Castañón, all her colleagues stand out from her by the fact that she does not usually turn off the phone when it comes to the job. She starts the day very early, and is usually the first to arrive at the ministry.

A “firm” negotiator

However, “it is not square because it is flexible. It is only when you are organized that flexibility is a possibility. He always has good words, even in the most tense times. Affable character, with so much pressure on him, he always knows how to give thanks. And that, in representative politics, when so much work accumulates, it can be lost ”, underlines Castañón herself when asked for laSexta.

Ione Belarra negotiated with Félix Bolaños for the framework of the coalition government

“She is a colleague who is at the head office all the time she needs to be,” he summarizes. Other voices within the party, who prefer not to give their name, point out that it has two virtues. First, that he’s a “very empathetic” person, able to always put himself on the other side.

Second, what has already been demonstrated, that she is a tough negotiator, “very firm and tenacious, in collective and individual work”, whether with the coalition partner or with any other. Because it is she, hand in hand with Echenique, who took command of the meetings to form a government with the PSOE in the summer and fall of 2019. In front of Belarra, the socialist Félix Bolaños, now secretary General of the Presidency.

Skater in her spare time

Fan of cinema, electrocumbia and speed skating – a sport she cultivated as a child in her native Pamplona, ​​although her family is from Alsasua – Ione Belarra has little to do with what Podemos is used to it. A different profile, perhaps less powerful, but more binding.

He is a fan of cinema, electrocumbie and speed skating

Because Belarra is not a great political theorist. It is not hardened in the public debate either: it does not have the media force or the interest of the other members. It is likely that these are the virtues that will make her in a few hours the leader of United We Can, after the Madrid debacle.

If before the match was in the hands of “rock stars”, now it will be in theirs. With his great friend Montero on the other side, and as a counterweight to the increasingly rising figure of Yolanda Díaz. A triad of the left in an attempt to regain the glory of yesteryear. Or, maybe, storm the sky again.

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