The quota that the PSC had until now is reduced by half in the new progressive coalition Executive. From two ministers (Miquel Iceta, in Culture and Sports, and Raquel Sánchez, in Transport) there is now one (Jordi Hereu). But in the Catalan party there are those who support the idea that “the PSC is not being punished, it is being protected”, and that, in any case, the caliber of the portfolio they control and the representation in the lower government are also important. , which “will be maintained,” they say.
In the PSC they refute the loss of weight and influence in the new Cabinet for two reasons: first, because the harmony between Sánchez and Illa, forged during the management of the pandemic, “offers guarantees”; and second, because of the importance of the Ministry of Industry for Catalonia.
“The PSC is not losing weight in this Executive, but it does not worry us either,” said spokesperson Elia Tortolero yesterday, who recalled the tradition of her party in Industry, with ministers such as Joan Majó (1985-1986), José Montilla (2004-2008 ) or Joan Clos (2006-2008), when the relationship with the PSOE was also close. In any case, “we don't care so much about the people, but about the project and the policies,” the spokesperson remarked.
With Industry, the PSC will have control of the ministry through which all the demands and relations of Catalan companies with the central government pass, including the management of European funds. Furthermore, the Catalan socialists maintain control of several important companies (such as Aena, Indra or Renfe), and the formation of Illa assumes that it will retain its weight in the second level of government, with secretaries of State such as Víctor Francos, who will continue in Sports. Currently they also have Paco Boya (Demographic Challenge), Raúl Blanco (formerly Secretary of State for Infrastructure and now President of Renfe) or Francesc Vallès (Communication).
They also assume that they will maintain control of the company Hispasat, which Hereu is leaving, and do not close the door to any other "surprise" subject to "what Illa may have agreed with the president." In this sense, there are those who remember that it is not yet ruled out that the first vice president and Minister of Economy, Nadia Calviño, ends up running to preside over the European Investment Bank, which would leave a portfolio vacant.
Furthermore, losing the Ministry of Transportation is, for the PSC, getting rid of “a problem.” The portfolio now in the hands of Óscar Puente will be talked about after the agreement for the transfer of Rodalies, but ERC will not be able to hold Illa alone responsible if things go wrong.
On the other hand, Hereu, who is a member of the PSC but is not part of the executive, is a bet by Illa, who agrees with the PSOE in the analysis that the new legislature "should not tilt over Catalonia", even though the PSC has It has been the electoral stronghold that has allowed Sánchez to remain in Moncloa. The president will try to ensure that Catalonia is as little present as possible in the public debate, as he already did in his initial speech at the investiture debate.
Socialist sources assure that it has not been easy for Illa to convince Hereu to change his position at Hispasat for the Ministry of Industry. In fact, the former mayor ruled out leading the candidacy for mayor of Barcelona when that of Jaume Collboni raised doubts. But his election has a lot to do with the importance that the economy has in Illa's speech with an eye on the next electoral battle that will be fought in Catalonia, and also, in the management of the Barcelona City Council.
Collboni's situation is precarious and it has not yet been decided whether to form an alliance with the left (with Comuns and ERC) or with the right (with Junts). There is a pressing need to choose, but the mayor will be able to count on Hereu for the task of economic promotion that seeks to “return the shine” to the city after the years of Ada Colau.
Illa will also use this help. Determined to return to “talking about things to eat” after the decade of the process, this is what he tries to do in the Parliament of Catalonia, offering himself to agree on the budgets with the ERC Government. The opposition leader has introduced specific demands on infrastructure into the Catalan agenda, criticizing successive pro-independence governments for the lost opportunities.
The PSC begins to place its pieces for the battle for the presidency of the Generalitat.