Maximilian Moon

The effects of climate change, housing policies in large urban conglomerates, sustainable mobility, new energy supply models. All these questions are of particular interest to the national deputy of the Frente de Todos, Leandro Santoro. This is one of the main reasons that led him to accept the invitation of the German Green Party Foundation to visit the cities of Hanover and Berlin where he will visit this Sunday.

The legislator requested unpaid leave from the National Congress but agreed to move on this date to be back on Wednesday March 1 when the new ordinary session begins. The trip will last between 8 and 10 days. He will also stop in Paris, where he will have a meeting with the socialist mayor Ana Hidalgo then in Barcelona and Madrid, in Spain.

“I am obviously interested in all issues that have to do with climate change. Everything that is done in the big cities of Europe concerning transport, waste collection, town planning. In Berlin, for example, with housing there are a lot of problems to be solved due to rising rents. It’s better to rent to tourists through virtual platforms, rather than to those who don’t have access to their own home, which is increasingly being replicated in cities like Buenos Aires,” says Santoro. Infobase.

“With housing, there are problems similar to ours. Much has been built in recent years in the city, but today we only have 5,500 houses for rent. Over the past 15 years, 20 million square meters have been built, but most of the houses are empty. This needs to be addressed urgently, as it leads to overcrowding in certain neighborhoods or to people living on the streets because they do not have access to rent,” he summarizes.

Leandro Santoro with the mayor of Paris, Ana Hidalgo when he was in Buenos Aires in October 2022. Now they will see each other again.  PHOTO: Instagram.
Leandro Santoro with the mayor of Paris, Ana Hidalgo when he was in Buenos Aires in October 2022. Now they will see each other again. PHOTO: Instagram.

-Concerning public transport, what are you interested in seeing?

-In almost all of Europe there is a fight against car use, especially when a person uses a vehicle to get around without companions. The transport matrix must be modified. The sustainability of public transport is a real challenge. In Madrid, for example, beyond the fact that there are more and more electric or hybrid cars and buses, progress is being made to have streets where only bicycles can circulate. They warn of the space occupied by a car, the energy it consumes, the carbon footprint it leaves. Here it is the opposite: no investment has been made in a metro to extend the lines of the Buenos Aires metro.

Why do you think this happens?

-This is another of the broken promises of the Larreta government. He promised in 2019 that all transportation at CABA would be electric. Nothing was advanced in this direction, it was left in an announcement. Cities must grow in the creation of scientific and technological jobs, for example, by following environmental quality guidelines. Nothing is done with him either. It is an ongoing debate to observe and analyze how we transport ourselves, how we build, how much green space is generated to regulate temperature.

-A few days ago, the municipal government announced that it was going to build 65 hectares of green spaces

-Look, I took the trouble to see all the debates before the election of the head of the city government and since 1996 it has been denounced that only 5 square meters per inhabitant of green spaces were available. The population increased little as it went from 3 million to a little more than that, 3 million 100 thousand. And yet, the number of green spaces in the City, despite the promises of those who govern it, has not increased at all.

In Paris, Santoro will meet Mayor Ana Hidalgo, who was in Buenos Aires last October to participate in the G 40, the Summit that brings together mayors who have presented proposals to fight climate change around the world. Hidalgo is a French politician of Spanish origin, member of the Socialist Party and since 2014 she became the first woman to hold this position.

“The purpose of travel is to build relationships and learn from experiences. For a few years they had invited me and only now did I dare to accept. I am young, so I think there is more interest on their part to see how we can work to improve the conditions in which citizens live, ”underlines the MP.

-Is this also a good opportunity to assess the effects of the war between Russia and Ukraine on European countries?

-Clear. They are very affected by it. There is a whole debate generated by the war of the use of energy. The Russians play a strategic role in supplying gas to the rest of Europe. Germany is the industrial locomotive of the continent. And it is discussed how to abandon the use of coal, which had to be resorted to due to the lack of gas. A debate was already taking place within the government coalition where, among others, the Social Democratic Party and the Green Party coexist. The Green Party has always proposed eliminating nuclear power plants as energy suppliers. It will be interesting to see how this situation will be resolved. Because some issues go against their government platforms.

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