Former MEP Ramon Tremosa, new business minister
Lawyer Miquel Samper will head home affairs office, and professor Àngels Ponsa will lead culture department
Ramon Tremosa, a former member of the European Parliament with the liberal ALDE group has become the new Catalan business minister.
President Torra's sudden shake-up of his government involved three ministries, including the head of the business department, Àngels Chacon.
The interior minister up until today, Miquel Buch, has been replaced by lawyer Miquel Sàmper, while the head of the culture department, Mariàngels Vilallonga, has also been sacked, with university professor Àngels Ponsa taking over.
Sàmper and Tremosa will take the oath on Thursday at 6pm, while Ponsa will do so next Tuesday.
Ramon Tremosa (Sant Boi de Llobregat, 1965), economist and MEP for 10 years
The new business minister, Ramon Tremosa (Sant Boi de Llobregat, 1955), has been an MEP for 10 years, representing the center-right bloc CiU, now defunct, and its successor, PDeCAT, from 2009 to 2019, and was a member of the liberal ALDE group in the European parliament.
In the chamber, he focused on economy issues, as a member of the economic committee and rapporteur on the annual reports of the European Central Bank and others on competition and the supervision of the European financial system – he also lobbied for independence in the key years of the Catalan crisis.
During his stint, he became economy coordinator for ALDE, before PDeCAT was expelled from the liberals – yet, Tremosa kept his seat within the group.
Also in the EU chamber during his first term were the now jailed leaders Oriol Junqueras and Raül Romeva.
When he finished his term, he ran as the sixth candidate on the Junts per Catalunya party list for the Barcelona constituency in the April 2019 Spanish election, but was not elected.
In 2019, he was an economy professor at the University of Barcelona, his previous job.
His challenges include dealing with the closure of the Nissan plants in Catalonia, facing the loss of tourists and other impacts of Covid-19, and his department is also responsible for managing public universities.
Àngels Ponsa (Artesa de Segre, 1960), art history teacher and culture official
The new culture minister, Àngels Ponsa takes over for Mariàngela Vilallonga after having worked as a senior official in her ministry.
Ponsa was, until now, the director-general of creation, territorial action, and libraries in the department.
She obtained her bachelor's degree in teaching in 1980 and went on to achieve another one in geography and history with a focus in art history.
She began her career as an art history teacher in the early 1990s before entering the public sector, with several posts in culture and teaching.
She entered politics in the 1990s and was an MP in the Catalan parliament from 2010 to 2017 for the now-defunct CiU and the pro-independence Junts pel Sí coalition.
Her challenges include bolstering the culture sector, one of the most hard-hit by the pandemic.
Miquel Sàmper (Terrassa, 1966), lawyer and local council councilor
Sàmper has been a Junts councilor for his hometown of Terrassa since 2015.
He was a tourism deputy and held positions in local economy as well as culture, education and sports committees in the Barcelona region authority (Diputació).
Sàmper holds degrees in both law and political science and was the dean of Terrassa's bar association from 2004 to 2007.
Sàmper was vice president of the General Council of Spanish Lawyers from 2009 to 2014 and president of the General Council of Catalan Lawyers from 2013 to 2014.