New Catalan ministers take office under the presidency of Pere Aragonès
Fourteen ministers, equally distributed between ERC and Junts, face challenges posed by Covid, housing, and independence question
Pere Aragonès' fourteen ministers have officially taken office as of Wednesday morning, after a ceremony held at the government headquarters in Barcelona.
The new department heads will be evenly split between coalition partners Esquerra Republicana and Junts per Catalunya. Have a listen to our latest podcast for what to expect in the current term:
All newly appointed department heads gave their oath to the president who had asked of them: "Do you promise to faithfully fulfil the obligations of the position you assume in the service of Catalonia and with loyalty to the President of the Catalan Government?"
The new cabinet will begin work in the middle of various crises, including the health emergency posed by Covid-19, the ensuing economic crisis, as well as huge questions standing over issues such as housing.
Ministries led by Esquerra
Presidency - Laura Vilagrà; Interior - Joan Ignasi Elena; Education - Josep González Cambray; Feminism - Tània Verge; Culture - Natàlia Garriga; Business and labor - Roger Torrent; Climate Action - Teresa Jordà.
Ministries led by Junts
Vice President and Minister for Digital Policies and Infrastructures - Jordi Puigneró; Economy - Jaume Giró; Health - Josep Maria Argimon; Foreign Affairs and Transparency - Victòria Alsina; Justice - Lourdes Ciuró; Research and Universities - Gemma Geis; Social Rights - Violant Cervera.
A ‘new era’ for Catalonia
Aragonés welcomed the start of a new team that "opens a new era" for Catalonia, and called on his new ministers to work "tirelessly" to carry out the "shake-up that the country needs."
Speaking in a press conference after attending his first cabinet meeting on Wednesday, Aragonès described his ministers as the "best team" to address the challenges facing Catalonia, and praised the "good working environment and complicity."
The government head said that the priority of the new executive is "the reconstruction of the lives of all Catalan citizens," and promised an "urgent response with no unjustified delays."
🔴 Catalan president Pere Aragonès is giving a press conference after its first cabinet meeting— Catalan News (@catalannews) May 26, 2021
He calls his ministers the "best team" to face the current challenges and praises the "good working environment and complicity"
Read more on the new cabinet: https://t.co/5pRe9UfkYB pic.twitter.com/1IlalgHAkS
"There is a political conflict that needs to be resolved," Aragonès also said, referring to the situation of the independence leaders jailed for their part in the 2017 attempt to split from Spain. On Wednesday morning, the Supreme Court published their report opposing granting them a pardon, a decision which will ultimately be in the hands of the Spanish government.
"The solution that raises the most consensus is amnesty and self-determination. And so he will transfer it to the Spanish government," Aragonès said.