The six-day tour that Isabel Díaz Ayuso starred in the United States in the last week of September cost more than 17,000 euros to the regional coffers, according to information published on the transparency portal that has been later detailed by a government spokesman. As this expense is added to that assumed by Telemadrid to send a journalist and a cameraman (15,000 euros), the institutional trip of the conservative leader from Madrid will end up costing more than 32,000 euros. An international displacement that Díaz Ayuso lived from controversy to controversy, one day with the President of the Government of Spain, the other with Pope Francis, and in the middle with the President of Mexico, and that ended without any new investment being known as a result for Madrid.
Díaz Ayuso traveled to New York and Washington between September 25 and October 1, 2021. Until then, he was accompanied from Madrid by his powerful chief of staff, Miguel Ángel Rodríguez; its press officer, José Luis Carreras; and the general director of media of the Community of Madrid, Sandra Fernández. At the time of publication of this article, the expenses of the specialized television directive were not known, although a government spokesman stated that its bill coincides with that of the rest.
Thus, the accommodation of each of the members of the entourage amounted to 1,662.66 euros, at a rate of 598.99 euros in New York and 1,063.67 euros in Washington, to where they traveled by train (189.49 euros per person). ). The intercontinental flight came out for 573.05 euros per person. And the only difference between the president and her companions, according to official data, was that Díaz Ayuso used the Barajas authorities room: that is why the conservative leader spent 4,549.59 euros on the trip, for the 4,259.19 they spent, each, his three companions. Surprisingly, they all spent 4.41 euros on taxis, and hundreds of euros on renting meeting rooms, according to government documentation.
The official balance of the visit was summarized in numbers by the press department of the Community: 13 institutional meetings and 17 attentions or media interviews. These data, however, hide different problems.
Thus, Díaz Ayuso managed to meet with the editorial team of the newspaper The Wall Street Journal, or with Bloomberg tycoon Michael Bloomberg, but he did not star in any high-profile political appointments. In fact, when he went to the Capitol to meet with the Hispanic caucus, only five of the 38 expected representatives showed up, and one, Raúl Ruiz, a congressman from California of Mexican origin, expressed his disagreement with some of the comments about indigenous people made by the president of Madrid during the tour.
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It was the best summary that the visit had been as full of iconic photos as it was controversial. There is the portrait with the statue of Isabel La Católica that is at the doors of the headquarters of the Organization of American States, where Díaz Ayuso went to meet with his secretary general, Luis Almagro. But also a torrent of headlines that could well have made it in Madrid, and that included clashes with Pedro Sánchez to defend his own “liberal” management of the pandemic; or reproach Pope Francis for highlighting the mistakes made in Mexico during the Spanish conquest.
All this was mainly reported by Spanish media, including Telemadrid, Madrid’s regional television, which is financed mainly through the contribution of the Community (74 million in 2021). The public entity invested some 15,000 euros in that six-day news coverage.
“The total is approximately 15,000 euros, including cameras, technical assistance, tickets, hotels, visas, bonuses, allowances, etc.,” José Antonio Sánchez, the provisional administrator chosen by Díaz Ayuso to direct Telemadrid, detailed in a parliamentary appearance. “The total is broken down: the technical assistance required is 6,062 euros; cameraman’s travel expenses are 2,974; 4,500 for tickets and hotel expenses, and other expenses, visa management, etc., 2,111 “, added the director, a confessed voter of the PP and present in the Barcenas Papers. And he finished: “The trip of President Isabel Díaz Ayuso to the United States to attract foreign investment, I remind you that it was news of outstanding informative interest.”
Almost four months later, no new investment is yet known to have originated as a result of that trip.
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