Josep Maria Pelegrí: the Secretary General of the Christian Democrats now in charge of Agriculture, Fishing and Biodiversity
Pelegrí has already been a Minister of the Catalan Government, but for Public Administration (2002-2003). Now, Pelegrí becomes the new Catalan Minister for Agriculture, Stockbreeding, Fishing and Environment. In his early years in politics, in the 1990s, he worked on environmental issues. He is discrete and loyal to the Christian Democrat leader, Josep Antoni Duran i Lleida.
Barcelona (ACN).- Josep Maria Pelegrí is the Secretary General of the Christian Democrat party, Unió Democràtica de Catalunya (UDC). UDC is the smallest brother of the two-party Centre-Right Catalan Nationalist Federation, Convergència i Unió (CiU). UDC\u2019s Chairman is Josep Antoni Duran i Lleida, and Pelegrí is his right-hand man. Pelegrí comes back to the Catalan Government after being the party\u2019 spokesperson at the Catalan Parliament for the last 7 years, while the CiU was leading the Opposition. In the new Catalan Government, responsibilities for agriculture are combined with some environmental portfolios, such as biodiversity and forests. In Catalan politics there is the unofficial tradition of appointing a person from Lleida as the Minister for Agriculture, as it the area with the most agricultural activity. Pelegrí was born in Lleida in 1965. He is not familiar with agriculture, but he has experience on environmental issues. In addition, he already has Government experience as he was Minister for Public Administration between 2002 and 2003.
Pelegrí joined the Catalan Government in 2002, after Duran i Lleida\u2019s resignation as Minister for Public Administration. Pelegrí has wide-ranging political experience. He joined UDC in 1982. He graduated in Law at the Universitat de Barcelona. Between 1991 and 1999, he was a councillor in Lleida\u2019s City Hall, in the opposition. In 1992, he joined the Catalan Ministry of Environment as a lawyer and juridical advisor. In 1995, he combined his previous responsibilities with those as Vice President of the Segrià County Council, a position he held until 1999. Between 1996 and 1999, he became the Environment Ministry\u2019s Territorial Delegate for Lleida.
In 1999, Pelegrí started to hold significant positions. He first became Director General for Environmental Quality of the Catalan Ministry for Environment. Then he switched to Director General for Local Administration within the Catalan Ministry for Public Administration and Institutional Relations, headed by Duran i Lleida at the time. In 2002, he became the Minister of this last department.
In 2001, Pelegrí was appointed Party Secretary for Municipal Policy in the UDC Government Committee. In 2002, he became the party\u2019s Orgnisation Secretary (the party\u2019s number three) and in 2004 he became the UDC\u2019s number two, until today. Pelegrí has been the face of the UDC in the Catalan Parliament, as its leader, while Duran i Lleida is the CiU spokesperson in the Spanish Parliament. Also, when Duran i Lleida suffered from a lung nodule and reduced his activities, Pelegrí took on the responsibilities of managing the party on a daily basis. He has been a loyal, discrete and efficient number two.