“Sometimes, from Zaragoza you can’t see beyond the Z-40”

The mayor of Huesca, Luis Felipe, assured that if the Government of Aragon, headed by the also socialist Javier Lambán, made a decision or adopted a measure that would harm the capital of Huesca, he would not spare criticism because “The PSOE of Alto Aragón is not going to give up defending the territory”. As he said, sometimes “institutional managers of Zaragoza, do not see beyond the Z-40.” That is when the policies that can be congealed in an office or in Parliament can have “devastating effects on the ground”.

Luis Felipe participated yesterday in an informative meeting at the Hotel Pedro I in Huesca organized by HERALDO, where he was interviewed by the director of this medium, Mikel Iturbe. The mayor referred to the disagreements that sometimes arise with the Aragonese Executive, pointing out that “there are nuances” that differentiate the Alto Aragonese socialists from those of Zaragoza or Teruel that sometimes “are interpreted as organic discrepancies.”

Before a large and heterogeneous audience, the mayor from Huesca assured that the city has a challenge: to ensure that part of the thousands of tourists who pass through the A-23 on their way to the Pyrenees enter Huesca. To begin with, they want to captivate those who live in Zaragoza and for this On March 21, the two city councils signed a collaboration agreement that aims to promote the wealth of both capitals as a tourist destination among its citizens.

The train

Luis Felipe pointed out that when you have a neighbor of 700,000 inhabitants half an hour away “it is better to collaborate than to compete” and for this “connectivity by road and by train is essential”. In this sense, he recalled that in the meeting held at the beginning of March, the president of Renfe, Isaías Táboas, with the general director of Operations, José Luis Cachafeiro, already suggested that the suburban service between Huesca and Zaragoza “has to be a reality soon and should be useful for students and professionalsin addition to a complement for the AVE trains that leave the Aragonese capital for Madrid”.

According to what he said, more than 16,000 people pass through the road corridor that joins the two cities, separated by 70 kilometers, every day, which may be more when new rail services are available. “Then, as we have done with the tourism agreement, we will have to sit down and talk with the City Council and the Zaragoza Transport Consortium so that greater connectivity had its repercussion on the trams and buses and on the suburban trains of the Aragonese capital“Louis Philippe said.

The temporization with Zaragoza presents, however, some limit that the mayor requests not to be crossed. “I ask that you support us and respect us as a benchmark city in terms of specific training in cybersecurity,” he said. He specified that today, to cover the demand, 30,000 professionals are needed in the field, which will be 80,000 in 2024. “That is where an important horizon opens up for us,” she added.

During the interview, it was recalled that it was last February when the mayor of Zaragoza, Jorge Azcón, proposed that the city be a national cybersecurity headquarters. President Lambán himself told him that Huesca is already working on it. Yesterday Louis Philippe insisted that the Huesca City Council has signed an agreement with the Secretary of State for the Interior to provide specialized training against cybercrimes to the professionals of the National Police and the Civil Guard.

Philip pointed out that “Singularity is important to cooperate between administrations and territories, and that is why it is not good that there is this temptation that everything goes to Zaragoza”. In any case, he commented that this does not mean that cybersecurity is taught only in Huesca but that “the city should be the reference for this training specialty”.

The Campus

The agreement with the Secretary of State for the Interior was signed last summer and at the end of this month of February the cybersecurity course that will train 20 experts began at the Walqa Technology Park. “In his presentation, the rector of the University of Zaragoza he promised that this training would not be replicated in other Aragonese campusessaid the mayor yesterday.

Luis Felipe affirmed that he coincided with the policy of the rector José Antonio Mayoral to decentralize studies, to provide fundamentally postgraduate training and to specialize the Huesca campus itself. In this regard, he was in favor of renewing the approaches defended until now in university claims. “We have to be brave and stop this debate about maintaining degrees like Medicine,” he proposed.

Knowing that his idea will have detractors, he indicated that it is worth asking “if it is feasible that there may be two completed degrees of Medicine in two cities that are 70 km from each other Or do we have to find a formula for there to be new degrees that the Zaragoza and Teruel campuses don’t have?” “We have to rethink the strategy,” he said.

stable financing

Another pending issue of Huesca City Council is the money that comes from the Government of Aragon. Luis Felipe indicated that, indeed, there was a time when he came to propose signing an agreement to achieve the status that the city of Zaragoza has as the capital of the province. “Huesca could benefit from this law, but we have advanced a lot and there is a project that is about to be approved in the Parliament of Aragon that resolves an important part of what was the deficit financing of Teruel and Huesca”, he explained.

According to what he said, what the city needs is that the economic contribution received annually from the Aragonese Executive “is stable over time, that there are no ups and downs, that its amount is not the will of the politician on duty at Pignatelli.” Likewise, he pointed out that this assignment “should not be supervised, but rather the City Council should have the autonomy to allocate those resources where it deems necessary.” Lastly, he pointed out that “This financing must be open to the possibility of increasing according to the parameters and needs of the capital itself”.

In addition, he stated that the Capital Law, which was claimed at the time, has a drawback, which is the cost in administrative structure and that, if carried out, it would mean doubling current spending.

Luis Felipe affirmed that, as mayor, “I do not feel mistreated with respect to the policies of the Government of Aragon for the city of Huesca because the important investments are arriving”. “And I feel very well accompanied by the policies of the Provincial Council,” he added. In this sense, he recognized that “When you govern in all places, it is more difficult to make a vindictive policy”. “But I have always said it, above the interest of your party is that of your city,” she stressed.

The festivals of San Lorenzo

When asked about the San Lorenzo festivities in 2022, the mayor of Huesca stated that “it is possible that we will still see masks because they are popular, street festivals that are lived in a group.” “We are working on them so that they are as they have always been because the city needs to live them that way and that is known because in any social or cultural event there is an important presence of people”.

Luis Felipe stressed that people are social beings. “If as such you limit their interactions, you are causing an effect that will have its consequences, since we need to touch, relate, share…”, he said with total conviction. “That is the festival of San Lorenzo,” he added. Besides, he recalled that he has always said that the party “is an expression of the community and expresses the personality of a city”.

Without hiding his enthusiasm for a festival that the pandemic forced to suspend for two years, the mayor even alluded to anthropological sciences to point out that “small towns need to lower the level of rigidity for expression and, thanks to the festivals of San Lorenzo , possibly a city like Huesca can live orderly the whole year because there is a part of disorder that is allowed on those days“.


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