“We totally agree with the farmers’ demands”

Although he is one of the young people who has just landed in the PP of La Rioja and in the Calahorra City Council, where he manages the most important areas, such as Finance, Contracting and European Funds, Mario Nafría is the second Riojan (along with Esther Herranz) in the ‘popular’ candidacy for the European elections. He is number 48 on the list and it is practically impossible for him to enter the Chamber, but for him it is still “a good experience” and “an immense learning experience.”

– He joined the PP of Calahorra for the municipal elections last year and is now one of the two Riojans in the party’s national candidacy for the European elections at only 26 years old. Although he is in a position (48) far from those that predictably give access to the Chamber, do you feel that the party gives him a boost by putting him on its list?

– The truth is, it was a surprise that the mayor (of Calahorra) gave me. As I personally told my colleagues and even the president (of the PP in La Rioja), it has been an honor and a pride that they had me. I have a lot to thank Mónica Arceiz and Gonzalo Capellán for thinking of me, because it will be a good experience and it will give me immense learning.

European funds

“We must stop politicizing, but we must be clear that they are not non-refundable and that, to obtain financing, conditions must be met”

– Why the Popular Party and why did it want to enter politics a year ago?

– I joined the Popular Party because my ideals are more related to those of this party than to others. I studied Business Studies in Madrid, I returned to Calahorra during the pandemic, I finished my degree remotely and started working in banking. When I began to work with clients and businessmen, there were people who gave Mónica Arceiz positive references from me in this regard. She liked my profile and contacted me to have a meeting. We were talking, she told me about her government project and the truth is that I liked her. On the other hand, politics has always caught my attention, but I never thought I would get to it, much less so soon.

– The agricultural sector, with an important weight in European policies and especially in its city, is key in these elections after the mobilizations that farmers have carried out throughout Europe, demanding fair prices or greater controls for imported products. What measures does the PP propose in this regard?

– In this regard, many issues cannot yet be advanced because the program is presented on May 20, but what can be said is that obviously the measures that have been taken so far are totally insufficient. From the PP we totally agree with all the demands that farmers are making. The flexibility (of the CAP) that has been approved to date does not seem sufficient to us. At the PP we seek, above all, the sustainability and profitability of farms.

– The eurosceptic far-right is gaining ground in Europe and in great powers like France it may win the elections. Do you fear the advance of these parties?

– In the PP we are clear that Europe makes us stronger. In the situation we currently have in Spain, to defend the rule of law, we are only being helped by this type of institutions, such as the European Commission and the European Parliament. Therefore, to remain strong we need allies like these institutions.

– There are young people like you who were already born as European citizens, but who show disaffection or disinterest in European politics.

– European politics can be seen in our daily lives. For example, in the case of Calahorra, thanks to the European Union, we have received very important financial aid to carry out very necessary projects, such as those of the Edusi, the intermodal train station…

– In his case, he has been in charge of the management of the Calahorra European Funds for a year.

– It is something that takes a lot of work, but the beautiful thing is that you are on the front line to provide economic resources to your city.

– These funds have also become a weapon used between the parties. We have seen it with the bike lanes in Logroño or in Calahorra with other projects such as the energy reform of La Planilla.

– I think we have to stop politicizing everything. But it must also be clear that European Funds are not non-refundable and to obtain this financing, certain conditions must be met, not only when a request is made but also during the following five years, which often cannot be met.

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