This is still a controversial subject. The excuses are security and that it is cheaper for them to use state residences. And that they are also used constantly. They seem to me as vague as they are opportunistic. In any case, it seems wrong to me that a palace or a public domain has a private use like the holidays or weekends of a President of the Government. It is true that there are examples of all kinds in the countries around us, but I opt for the most austere. This does not even seem fair to me in the case of presidents of republics like the United States or France, although it is not my place to question what seems fair to the majority of its citizens. I also apply this rejection to the use of airplanes or helicopters outside of job duties. No one will convince me that going on a weekend or vacation, to a party, concert or family event falls into this section. It is not a question of economic cost, which has no importance in a country like ours, but of transparency and good governance.

There are countries where the Prime Minister does not live in a residence like La Moncloa. Is it good or bad to follow this criterion? None of the presidents we’ve had lived in a palace before taking office and they don’t do so after leaving it, although they all have decent residences they could have occupied instead from La Moncloa. Despite this, I don’t think it’s bad that they live in the same complex where the Presidency of the Government is located, because it is more operational. On the other hand, it makes no sense for Pedro Sánchez and his family to travel on a Falcon for their Easter vacation and spend it in Doñana. Some of his predecessors did this, so this is not a personal criticism, but I extend it to them and those who come in the future. A law must be made to regulate these matters, because public property is not intended for anyone’s personal enjoyment. I’m not optimistic about this, because it’s hard to resist the privileges of the position and it’s even easy to always find excuses. However, an advanced democracy must be based on exemplarity and austerity.

Francisco Marhuenda He is professor of public law and history of institutions (UNIE)

By wbu4c

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