The new ministers of the Government, one by one

The president of the Generalitat, Pere Aragonès, announced this Sunday the composition of the new Government after the departure of the ministers of Junts.

10 October 2022 Monday 01:31
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The new ministers of the Government, one by one

The president of the Generalitat, Pere Aragonès, announced this Sunday the composition of the new Government after the departure of the ministers of Junts. It is a monochrome executive with new faces from the party, but also from other spaces in the pro-independence sphere, others of unequivocal convergent and socialist origin, but there are also signings from the orbit of the commons.

Natàlia Mas (San Martí de Tous, 1979) is one of the people trusted by President Pere Aragonès in the economic field and has a curriculum outside the Generalitat (she spent 10 years at the European Central Bank, BCE) that supports her. She will be the first woman to hold the Ministry of Economy of the Generalitat.

In politics, he was already in the department at the time of Oriol Junqueras and returned in 2019 with Aragonés. She was number three. For this reason, when she arrives at the apartment in the Barcelona Free Zone on Tuesday, all will be familiar faces for her. It remains to be seen if she will assume the 2023 budget that left the outgoing Jaume Giró in which she designed a tax cut for high incomes (through Patrimony) and an additional reduction for everyone in personal income tax. During the years that she spent in Economy, the fiscal pressure remained high, placing Catalonia as the community where low incomes pay the most taxes. She, too, will not be oblivious to negotiations with the central government, since she participated in several fiscal and financial policy councils in Madrid. That is where she discusses the distribution to the communities.

When ERC lost the economy portfolio at the hands of Junts, the party relocated Mas to the economic department that remained, Roger Torrent's Empresa i Treball. There, he has promoted the National Pact for Industry that took two years to develop.

During the convulsive years of the procés, as general director of Anàlisi Econòmica de la Generalitat in 2017, she did not publicly warn of the problems that would plague the Catalan economy after the referendum that led to the flight of the headquarters of thousands of companies and to Madrid will surpass Catalonia in GDP. In the months prior to the referendum, she produced a report on Catalonia's potential as a financial cluster. Before the end of the year, CaixaBank and Banc Sabadell went to Valencia and Alicante.

She has a degree in Business Administration (Pompeu Fabra) and a master's degree in European Economics (Bruges), and in Economic Policy (Columbia University). / Eduardo Magallon

The substitute of Victòria Alsina in External Action, Meritxell Serret (Vallfogona de Balaguer, 1975), is waiting for the Superior Court of Justice of Catalonia (TSJC) to open an oral trial against her for disobedience, a crime for which the Prosecutor's Office is requesting a penalty of one year of disqualification and a fine of 12,000 euros. In other words, she could be removed from office in months.

Serret was minister of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Food with Carles Puigdemont between 2016 and 2017 - she will be the only one of that executive who will be in the current one - and she was dismissed with the application of article 155. She went to Belgium together with the former president of the Generalitat and councilors Toni Comín, Lluís Puig and Clara Ponsatí, but decided to return unexpectedly and with maximum secrecy in March 2021. Only the president of Esquerra Republicana, Oriol Junqueras, knew of his return.

She appeared before the investigating judge of the procés case, Pablo Llarena, who released her accused of disobeying the order of the Constitutional Court that forced her to “paralyze or prevent” the holding of the 1-O referendum.

Since then she has held her seat in Parliament as a deputy for the ERC and acts as deputy spokesperson for the parliamentary group. She is also president of the investigation commission on espionage with Pegasus and spokesperson in the Foreign Action, Transparency and Cooperation commission.

During her stay in Brussels, from June 2018 until she returned to Catalonia in March 2021, she was a Government delegate to the European Union, a position that can serve as experience for her new role.

Less than a month ago, she joined the Esquerra executive as deputy general secretary of Partit Obert. She has a degree in Political Science and Administration and holds a postgraduate degree in General Business Management. / Josep Maria Calvet

Ernest Maragall, Ferran Mascarell, Joan Ignasi Elena… and now Joaquim Nadal. The one who was mayor of Girona for 23 years, socialist candidate for the presidency of the Generalitat in 1995, minister with Pasqual Maragall and Jose Montilla and militant of the PSC for 35 years joins the list of former leaders of this formation who, rescued from ostracism or from political retirement, they have ended up forming part of pro-independence governments of Catalonia.

Joaquim Nadal i Farreras (Girona, 1948) jumped to the forefront of politics when, at the age of 31, he became mayor of Girona with a Catalanist discourse and the determination to transform the gray and discreet Catalan Florence into a dynamic and very atractive. In 1995 he agreed to be the candidate for the presidency of the Generalitat for a PSC fractured by the fight between captains and obiolists staged at the Sitges congress. Only he and no one else dared to face Jordi Pujol in a fight with zero chances of victory. Inaugurated head of the opposition, he led the crossing of the socialist desert until in 1999 he handed over the baton to a Maragall who won in votes but had to wait four more years to take over the presidency of the Generalitat. It was then that he became one of the strong men of the tripartites that governed Catalonia for seven years (2003-2010), at the head of Territorial Policy, which for a brief period he made compatible with the Presidency and for three years with the spokesperson for the Government. He promoted policies that deserved congratulations, such as the neighborhood law, and went through such delicate moments as the collapse of Carmel and everything that derived from events that devastated the now forgotten Catalan oasis.

With the fall of the tripartite he retired from politics – the day before the elections of September 27, 2015, he informed Miquel Iceta of his withdrawal from the PSC – to dedicate himself to university research and teaching. Professor of Contemporary History at the University of Girona, no one will argue with this purebred Girona native who knows well the land that has been awarded to him. / Ramon Suñe

With a degree in Pharmacy and a master's degree in pharmaceutical marketing, Juli Fernàndez (Sabadell, 1977) worked for a few years in the pharmaceutical sector, but has developed his career in active politics. He has been an ERC militant since his youth, he was mayor of Sabadell between 2015 and 2017, delegate of the Government of the Generalitat in Barcelona from 2018 to 2021 and since May of last year he has been a deputy in the Parliament. At the head of the Ministry of Territory, one of his main occupations will be the structuring of the country through infrastructures. And he will have on the table the long-awaited full transfer of Rodalies from Renfe to the Generalitat, and will probably also return to the question of the expansion of El Prat airport, a project that divided the Government and which Esquerra opposed.

His appointment as mayor of Sabadell, in June 2015, marked the end of the Manuel Bustos era and the PSC's 16 years at the helm of the City Council. ERC signed a three-way pact, which involved sharing the mayor's office with Crida per Sabadell (CUP brand), whose candidate, Maties Serracant, led the municipal government for the last two years of his term. The third signatory was Guanyem Sabadell. Between 2017 and 2019, Fernàndez was deputy mayor. In the current legislature, the PSC regained the mayor's office and Juli Fernàndez was a councilor until July 2020, when, in the midst of the covid pandemic, he resigned from the act to focus on the position he then held as a delegate of the Government.

Due to his links with the youth of the party, he was a member of the National Council of Catalonia for two years, and between 2007 and 2011 he was general director of Joventut de la Generalitat, first as director of the public company Turisme Juvenil de Catalunya, SA and later as Director of the Catalan Youth Agency.

In the pharmaceutical sector, his work was always linked to the management of Pharmacy offices. His last responsibility in the sector was as purchasing manager at Ecoceutics. / Alex Tort

The covid epidemic has given Josep Maria Argimon a great role as Minister of Health in less than a year and a half in office. His position is now assumed by Manel Balcells Díaz, also a doctor, of the same age (he was born in Ripoll in 1958) and who knows the area equally well, as he was Director of Strategy during Marina Geli's mandate.

Balcells, advisor for Universities and Research for less than a month in 2006, is a traumatologist expert in sports medicine, a specialty in which he is considered one of the driving forces in Catalonia. He was medical director of the hospital in Granollers - a city in which he was deputy mayor for ERC between 1995 and 2004 -, executive president of Biocat and until now he was director of the Center for the Integration of Medicine and Innovative Technologies, commissioned in the Leitat technology center and president of the Sant Pau Hospital Management Foundation, as well as participating in the councils of the Terrassa Health Consortium and the Hospital del Mar.

A few months ago he received the Josep Trueta Medal for Health Merit, the highest award in the sector. In the harsh first wave of the epidemic, he stood out in an initiative by several organizations to build respirators, which were then missing.

Balcells' appointment is well received in the sector, according to sources consulted, not only because he is a doctor, but because he is no stranger to an area of ​​complex management, in which he will not start from scratch. He is also considered a solid person with good manners and consensus.

Your interest and knowledge of innovation in health can help renew public health. But it will have to deal with what has caused headaches for years for all Health officials, limited financial resources and insufficient services, as well as a growing problem of lack of professionals and an aging group. Balcells takes office with the covid at a minimum, but at the beginning of the season in which the healthcare system is usually tense due to the increase in patients. It will be the first test of him. / Martha Ricart

He knows perfectly the matter of the ministry he assumes. For years, Carles Campuzano (1964) was the official liberal of Convergència and the main expert on the social agenda of Pujol's party. Social democrat with liberal tendencies, in the United Kingdom he would be part of the Lib Dems. After briefly passing through municipal politics in his city, Vilanova i la Geltrú, and through the Parliament, this Law graduate consolidated himself in the Congress of Deputies, where he held a seat between 1996 and 2019, the last three years as spokesman, after the disqualification of Francesc Homs.

Always linked to social issues, his career as a deputy began with the negotiation of the abolition of military service, a historic change that the first Aznar cabinet brought about. As a result of the collaboration between popular and convergent that established the Majestic pact, Campuzano had a leading role.

He closed his stage in Madrid with an event that completely transformed the political landscape: he played hard – alongside Marta Pascal – to make possible the motion of censure against Rajoy, which brought Sánchez's presidency in June 2018, an operation that was not he had the support of Puigdemont. That intervention and his critical opinions were the reason why the leader of the postconvergent space decided to stop counting on him. His last initials were those of the PDECat, but he supported the creation of the PNC. Perhaps because he embraced independence from a young age (he entered the JNC in 1982) he was always skeptical about the procés' strategies. Mas's nucleus of trust had blocked his path in the Government.

His mark is in the negotiation of the reforms of the Toledo Pact, the Immigration Law, the Dependency Law and other regulations related to insertion companies, the widow's pension, international cooperation or antipersonnel mines. He now served as director of Dincat, a federation of support entities for people with intellectual disabilities, and as secretary of the Third Social Sector Board. / Francesc-Marc Alvaro

Doctor in Political Science, with a European master's degree in the Penal System and Human Rights, Gemma Ubasart (Castellar del Vallès, 1978) will change the classrooms of the University of Girona, where she has been teaching until last week, for the Department of Justice, Rights and Memory. Once her appointment has been formalized today, tomorrow she will pick up the portfolio of Lourdes Ciuró, from Junts. From his new office, he will manage a budget of 1,100 million euros, and his main responsibility will be the prison administration in Catalonia, which broadly includes the rehabilitation, reintegration and training of prisoners, in addition to democratic memory, and the Justice administration.

It will be the first time that Ubasart will have executive responsibilities, but she is not a newcomer to active politics. Led by Pablo Iglesias, whom she met in Bologna while they were both studying for an Erasmus scholarship in the 1999-2000 academic year, this political scientist joined Podemos in the summer of 2014, upon returning from Ecuador, where she combined university teaching with a job as advisor on public policies to the Correa government. His militancy in the purple formation was brief, around a year, but he was always close to the circle of power, first as secretary of Plurinationality and Public Policies for Change, in the state leadership, and for a few months he came to lead the party. in Catalonia, but in 2015 he left, after the elections to the Parliament of that year. Before entering politics she had participated in different social movements.

In her professional experience, she has combined her work as a teacher with stays as a researcher at the London School of Economic and Political Science and at universities and institutes of political studies in Parma, Ottawa, Paris and Quito, with political advice to governments and parties in Europe and Latin America.

During his time in Podemos, he defended the right to decide and was clearly opposed to the unilateral path to independence. Her bet was the Scottish way of a referendum agreed with the State. / Silvia Hinojosa



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