Government crisis: climate action, territory and education ministers replaced

Minister Jordà running in Spanish election prompts president to trigger larger cabinet shift

The Catalan president, Pere Aragonès, on June 11, 2023
The Catalan president, Pere Aragonès, on June 11, 2023 / ACN
Catalan News

Catalan News | @catalannews | Barcelona

June 12, 2023 09:58 AM

June 12, 2023 07:05 PM

The Catalan president, Pere Aragonès, is making three changes to his government.

The reshuffle has been prompted by the climate action minister, Teresa Jordà, running in the Spanish election as the second candidate for Esquerra in the Barcelona constituency.

Yet, Aragonès not only removed her from her post, but also the territory and education ministers. 

Teresa Jordà will be replaced by David Mascort, until now her second-in-command.

Meanwhile, territory minister Juli Fernández will be replaced by former justice minister Ester Capella.

In the education department, Josep González-Cambray will no longer be minister, and former well-being and families minister Anna Simó will replace him.

González-Cambray has been in the spotlight for over a year in his sector, having to face several school staff strikes related to working conditions and changes in the academic year, while Fernández has been outspoken against building a new highway in the Terrassa and Sabadell areas.

Education sector criticism and rejection of highway construction, hinted reasons for reshuffle

Beyond the fact that Jordà is moving to the Spanish congress, Aragonès said the reshuffle aims to "finish the term" and ensure he avoids calling an election until February 2025, when it is due, although his cabinet has no majority in the chamber.

"The education department has gone through some highly complex years, but positive changes have also been implemented," he said, mentioning the fact that part of the public kindergarten is now free and more teachers have been hired.

He added that Anna Simó will "consolidate" the ongoing changes in the education ministry.

Aragonès also referred to the revamp in the territory department, given that its leader, Juli Fernández, has also been nine months in the post.

While he praised the construction of 10,000 public housing homes for rent during Fernández's stint, he also said that "budget agreements in Catalonia and Spain have to be complied with," in an implicit mention of the deal with the Socialists on building a highway in the Barcelona metropolitana area – the outgoing territory minister was explicitly against the new road.

The Catalan leader has thanked the job of the three outgoing politicians and said Fernández will continue as MP.

Continue until end of mandate

With the new change, the president aims to finish the mandate and hold the next election in February 2025, four years after the last Catalan election that happened in February 2021.

"This cabinet reshuffle is done with the idea of holding the next Catalan election in February 2025 and, therefore, reaching the end of this mandate," Aragonès said during the announcement of the cabinet members.


Meanwhile, the opposition considered the changes a delayed modification of policies that did not work. and also as a way of strengthening Esquerra, the party, and not Catalonia.

The Socialists said the reshuffle is a "way of prolonging the agony of a Catalan government without a project for Catalonia."

And Junts, the former junior partner of the cabinet, accused Aragonès of making an executive "based on the party [Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya, the only group ruling the executive since Junts left in October], and not thinking on Catalonia."