The historic socialist leader Jerónimo Saavedraformer president of the Canary Islands and former minister of Education and Science and Public Administrations, has deceased this Tuesday, as announced by the president of the regional Parliament, Astrid Pérez, during the plenary session. She was 87 years old.
Saavedra died, as this newspaper has learned, of natural causes at his home in Vegueta, in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.
Jerónimo Saavedra (Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, 1936) held the presidency of the Canary Islands (1983-1987 and 1991-1993) before being appointed minister. He was in the Public Administration portfolio in 1993 and in Education in 1995 in the last government of Felipe González. Saavedra finished off his political career as mayor of his city between 2007 and 2011. Until today, he continued to be a socialist leader with a direct connection to Pedro Sánchez.
He was also a Common Deputy (autonomous Ombudsman).
Doctor in Law from the Complutense University of Madrid and a renowned music lover, he was also the creator and promoter of the Canary Islands International Music Festival and the Canary Islands Awards for Art, Historical Heritage and Sciences.
In 2022, the Masonic Grand Lodge of Spain will awarded his highest distinctionthe Founder’s Gold Medal with a red badge, which recognized “his political, cultural and social career, his commitment to democracy and his humanist legacy.”
On the human level, in 2000 revealed his homosexuality in the prologue of the book Outing in Spain, of the writer and professor Fernando Bruquetas, thus becoming the first politician in the history of Spain who openly acknowledged being gay.
Saavedra’s death was announced during the celebration of the plenary session of the Canary Islands Parliament, whose president, Astrid Pérez (PP), dedicated words of praise, as well as all the spokespersons for the groups and the president of the Canary Islands, Fernando Clavijo (CC ), before observing a minute of silence.
One of the first to react was the former president of the Canary Islands Parliament and current vice president of the Chamber, Gustavo Matos, who described the news as “devastating.” Matos has indicated that the news reached him “in the middle of the plenary session” this Tuesday.
Minutes later, the Canary Islands PSOE highlighted “his fight for freedom, his defense of democracy, his progressive commitment.” The organizational secretary of the Canarian socialists, Nira Fierro, has placed special emphasis on the importance of the figure of Saavedra for the Canarian left, as well as for regional and national politics.
He also pointed out that without his dedication to freedom, social justice and the construction of the Socialist Party in the Canary Islands, “today we would not be what we are.”
The President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, has reacted by describing Saavedra as an “exemplary socialist”, while highlighting his generosity and commitment to Spain, the Canary Islands and the PSOE. In a publication on his official profile on the social network
“Jerónimo Saavedra has left us. Exemplary socialist. He has always been committed to Spain, the Canary Islands and the PSOE. Always generous. He shared his good humor, his intelligence and his vast culture with those of us who were lucky enough to be his friends. I will miss you. RIP,” Sánchez wrote.
The X account of the Popular Party of the Canary Islands has also lamented the death of the former Canary Islands president.
The funeral chapel opens this Tuesday, at 7:00 p.m., in the Town Hall of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, as reported by the mayor of the city, Carolina Darias.
“Jeronimo Saavedra has left us. In the Town Hall of the @AyuntamientoLPA we will say our last goodbye to him. This afternoon at 7:00 p.m. the funeral chapel will be installed in the Golden Hall. See you always Mayor!!!”, Darias expressed on X (Twitter).
The post first appeared on www.eldiario.es