Pedro Sánchez's new cabinet take office with two Catalans in new government
Former Barcelona mayor Jordi Hereu is the new industry minister, while Ernest Urtasun heads the culture department
The 22 ministers in Pedro Sánchez's new government have taken office on Tuesday after taking their oath before the Spanish king Felipe VI.
Among the new heads of departments are two Catalans, former Barcelona Mayor Jordi Hereu, heading the Industry Ministry, and Ernest Urtasun, who will be in charge of culture.
Following the ceremony, the new ministers traveled to the headquarters of their new departments to formally take over the portfolio and briefcase of the outgoing minister. After that, Sánchez will hold his first meeting with his new cabinet.
Jordi Hereu received the Industry Ministry portfolio from his predecessor, Héctor Gómez, in an event where he evoked the memory of Ernest Lluch, murdered by ETA exactly 23 years earlier.
Hereu said that Lluch was killed for defending dialogue as a tool for conflict resolution and that "he was passionate about the territorial economy and what industrialization entailed."
The former mayor of Barcelona also called for the participation of all sectors, from the state to private companies to social agents, to come together and develop new projects to "advance the structural transformation of the economy."
Among the objectives set for the new term, Hereu highlighted the need for strategic autonomy and to promote deindustrialization, pointing to the need to promote industry to help with the transition to renewable energy sources.
Meanwhile, Ernest Urtasun took over from Catalan Socialist Miquel Iceta in the Ministry of Culture. At the ceremony, Urtasun said that the department will be "an expression of what Spain is today," including an intersection of different cultures, languages and diverse heritages.
"We speak, love and create in Galician, Catalan, Spanish and Basque," the new Spanish Culture Minister said, pledging to defend "cultural rights" and values such as the right "to free expression."
"Freedom of expression is an inherent success of our democracy, and we have known in recent times in Europe, and also in our country, vetoes against singers, censorship of performances, even works for children," the Sumar politician said.