«Every day we are an older society; and we are already seeing the consequences of climate change.” These are, according to the general deputy, Elixabete Etxanobe, the two main challenges that threaten the “stability” of Bizkaia. At least, that’s how he wanted to share it with nearly 500 guests who came this Thursday morning to the traditional official reception of San Ignacio held at the Palacio Foral. Among those present was the lehendakari, Iñigo Urkullu.
It was the first time that Etxanobe hosted this solemn act in honor of the patron saint of Bizkaia, after she took office on the 5th after leading the PNV party in the foral elections and reaching a government agreement with the PSE . And she hasn’t missed it. She has assured that she is willing to listen “always” and that her main purpose will be “to improve the quality of life of citizens”, a task that, in her opinion, should be shared by all administrations, politicians and social agents.
He has also sent a message to the opposition: «We are here to listen to criticism as long as it is well raised and when it has the aspiration to do things better and is raised with respect, because if respect is lost, criticism is discredited by Yes, alone”. Etxanobe has advanced that he will shortly present a draft legislature that will guide the action of the Provincial Council for the next four years, with the aim of Bizkaia “continuing to move forward”. “It will be a document that includes the commitments that we assume with the citizenship and the actions that we are going to develop to respond to the challenges that we have as a society.” This plan, he has pointed out, will be “evaluable” so that the people of Biscay can check if it is being fulfilled or not. The declaration of intent will be made public before his term expires 100 days (at the end of October).
The general deputy has made a diagnosis of the situation in Bizkaia. She has praised the projects that today are a reality but that in the past were “a dream”. She believes that the territory has “stability”, an asset that “we must protect and value”. In this sense, she has highlighted that “many times it happens to us that only when we get sick do we remember the importance of being in good health; well, now that we are healthy, let us value the importance of having institutions that offer stability, security and guarantees”.
In the presence of the lehendakari, the politician born in Otxandio has highlighted the importance of the two challenges that, in her opinion, could endanger that “stability”. “We have to face the new reality of an increasingly aging society,” he warned. In this context, Etxanobe has emphasized the need to improve care for the elderly and also to offer “new opportunities” to young people. In addition, he has opted to offer “the best welcome to those people who come from other places”, because they are “the present and must form part of the future of Bizkaia”.
Etxanobe has also referred to climate change, the consequences of which “we are already seeing”. That is why he has asked “to continue advancing in the ecological transition”, because “we must adopt all the measures at our disposal to reverse” this process of global warming of the planet.
To face these challenges, the general deputy has stressed that the best weapon is to have strong public services “but these are only guaranteed if we obtain sufficient resources”, she has warned. And this is where she has put two new variables into the equation: taxation and the drive of the companies.
Regarding the first ingredient, Etxanobe has made a defense of the Economic Agreement and has asked “to take advantage of our capabilities, such as taxation, in the best possible way, using the tax capacity intelligently to help the productive fabric.”
“We need more entrepreneurs”
In relation to companies, the general deputy stressed that Bizkaia “needs businessmen and women”. “We need more people willing to start a new activity, to invest, to develop a business, to keep it here.” She has also highlighted the significant generation of employment, despite the current crisis derived from Covid and the war in Ukraine. There is less unemployment, she has pointed out, even now that companies face “an increase in costs due to the rise in interest rates.” In her opinion, all this depends on “that in the future we can maintain and even improve the public services that we have.”
In this sense, it has extended its hand to businessmen and has promised to generate the necessary conditions to move towards an economic fabric that promotes an “attractive, advanced, dynamic and thriving” territory. Otxandio’s policy has called for “no one to be left behind”, for everyone to row together so that there is not “a two-speed Bizkaia”, because right now “we are a first-class territory”. Etxanobe has asked to protect these values because “I do not want for our people the scenario of instability and noise that we are seeing in other places.”
The traditional event of San Ignacio has brought together personalities from the world of politics, business, sports or the culture of the territory. It has been held again for the second consecutive year after it did not take place between 2020 and 2021 due to Covid-19.