Feijóo’s double yardstick for official trips: from bipartite mojitos to Irene Montero’s selfie

Feijóo's double yardstick for official trips: from bipartite mojitos to Irene Montero's selfie

“What I saw on networks this week, when a minister and her friends decide to do tourism in New York paid for with public money from the people, is disrespectful to citizens. And I understand that Mr. Sánchez should speak out and act accordingly” . This is how the president of the PP, Alberto Núñez Feijóo, asked this Tuesday for the highest political responsibilities to the Minister of Equality, Irene Montero, for posting a photo on his Instagram during his official visit to the US in which he can be seen in Times Square . An exact photo to the one published last year by Isabel Díaz Ayuso or, in 2016, by the general coordinator of the party, Elías Bendodo.

Even so, Feijóo insisted during a brief speech in a Congress hall before the leadership of the parliamentary groups on attacking Montero, one of the members of the coalition government most attacked by the opposition. The president of the PP, leader of the opposition and leader who boasts of moderation and stability, related the trip to the economic situation of the Spaniards, inflation and tax collection, another of the party’s favorite fishing grounds for hoaxes, which has fully involved in the conspiracy in his assault on power.

And he emphasized the public money spent on the minister’s official trip to Washington and New York, just a few days after Isabel Díaz Ayuso had made a tour of Miami and when he himself starred in the most diverse expeditions during the 13 years that governed the Xunta. One of them, to Brussels, left a curious stamp that he himself publicized on his social networks. And that had a significant cost for the public coffers of the Galicians.

The then president of Galicia traveled to Brussels in November 2021 to promote the Xacobeo, the largest item for marketing and advertising in the budgets of the Xunta. There he made a selfie with the famous statue of Manneken Pis dressed as if he were a pilgrim on the Camino de Santiago. Later, he posted it on his Twitter account.

The Feijóo inn involved an administrative procedure in which the staff of the regional government had to work previously. As published by, the organizations that want to dress the statue do not pay for it, but must submit an application to the Brussels City Council, wait for the response of a committee and the assignment of a date, and make the garments.

The Xunta even distributed a photo of Feijóo taking off his selfiewhich suggests that the Galician Government hired a photographer for the occasion.

That November day, Feijóo held several meetings in which from the Xunta described as “intense” day. To the current president of the PP, Montero’s agenda in the US (where he was at the White House invited by the Administration of President Joe Biden or at the UN, among other issues) did not seem intense enough, because for Feijóo the minister’s trip It is a “vacation” because of the photo published on Instagram by the Secretary of State for Equality, Ángela Rodríguez.

Feijóo’s is just the latest in a series of public statements by prominent PP leaders attacking Montero. The first was the general coordinator, Elías Bendodo, who announced an offensive by his party to find out the content of the trip, as well as the money it has cost. Something that the Xunta, by the way, never reported on Feijóo’s trip to Brussels. Or to New York itself.

Because in 2019 Feijóo visited the US officially, also with the promotion of the Camino de Santiago as a justification. There he took the opportunity to vindicate the Galician migrants. In an event organized on Ellis Island, where foreigners who wanted to enter the country arrived and where they sometimes spent quarantines, a group of bagpipers and women dancing to the sound of the doll.

In the usual press conference on Monday, Bendodo stepped forward to defend the president of Madrid, Isabel Díaz Ayuso, who made herself, and yielded to some medium so that it was conveniently published, an image exactly the same as that of Minister Montero . In the photograph you can see his Cabinet Director, Miguel Ángel Rodríguez, as well as other people from his team: his Media Director, Sandra Fernández, or his Press Officer, José Luis Carreras.

On that trip to the US, Ayuso had time to eat on the street, drink beers at sunset or visit the Capitol, in addition to holding work meetings.

Those meetings were worth Bendodo to justify Ayuso’s trip. But for the PP, the agenda of the Minister of Equality does not have enough depth.

From the Ministry of Irene Montero, the minister’s agenda was previously reported. And this Monday the summary of activities was distributed again, including appointments with the Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations and Executive Director of UN Women, Sima Bahous; with the director of Women’s Affairs of the State of New York, Emily Kadar; or with the Executive Director of the White House Gender Policy Council, Jennifer Klein.

Ayuso’s trip had an added cost: the sending by Telemadrid of a complete team that followed the president on her journey. As published with official data, the cost for Telemadrid was 15,738.65 euros. Telemadrid once again mobilized a team to cover the president’s recent trip to Miami.

The Madrid president repeated her expedition to New York in January 2022. In the middle of Christmas, she met with the city’s mayor, the newly elected Eric Adams. On her Instagram, she also left other snapshots of the trip.

Even Bendodo himself has his own official travel album. In 2016, as president of the Malaga Provincial Council, he also landed in New York with the task of “promoting” the province as a holiday destination. The Today Number Three of the PP, which has criticized the snapshot of Irene Montero, one exactly the same was then made.

No one from the PP has yet explained the reason for this double yardstick, which the popular have already used on other occasions to denounce the use that Sánchez makes of the plane or of the official residences that all the regional presidents have used. In the case of Feijóo, these practices go back a long way. The last time he was in the opposition, his party caused a supposed scandal due to an official expedition organized by the Ministry of Culture of the bipartisan chaired by Emilio Pérez Touriño, to the Havana Book Fair, which dedicated its 2008 edition to Galicia.

On that institutional trip, Galician culture was represented by 200 people, including editors, writers and artists. The PP then spent weeks asking for explanations in the Galician Parliament for an invoice of 400 mojitos at a reception that was organized in a hotel in Havana. It was the same Popular Party that had spent, charged to the same Xunta budgets, more than 300 million in the Cidade da Cultura, a cultural macro-container that remains deserted three decades after it was devised by Fraga and which the Feijóo government ended moving officials and public agencies to try to put it to some use.

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