The Aragonese President announces the seven new councilors

The remodeling of the Government worked on this weekend by the president of the Generalitat, Pere Aragonès, and his closest team adds seven incorporations to the Executive Council, which undergoes changes in the structure of the ministries.

It is a monochrome ERC executive with new faces from the party but also from the orbit of other ideological spaces in the form of independents. Joaquim Nadal will be the Minister for Universities and Research; Juli Fernández, from Territori; Meritxell Serret, from Foreign Action; Carlos Campuzano, the Social Rights; Natalia Mas, from Economy and Finance; Gemma Ubasart, from Justice, Rights and Memory, and Manel Balcells, from Salut.

The department with the most budgetary weight, close to 30%, is Health, which from now on will be headed by Manel Balcells, replacing Josep Maria Argimon (Together). Balcells, current director of the Center for the Integration of Medicine and Innovative Technologies in Catalonia, was briefly Minister of Universities, Research and the Information Society under the presidency of Pasqual Maragall.

Another former councilor from the time of the tripartites, Joaquim Nadal, will direct the Department of Research and Universities. Coming from the PSC, a party that he ended up leaving, he will replace Gemma Geis, also from Girona, in office.

The former deputy of the Democratic Convergence of Catalonia (CDC) and the PDeCAT, Carlos Campuzano, will join the executive as counselor for Social Rights, a portfolio that Violan Cervera held.

Another signing outside the republican ranks is that of the political scientist Gemma Ubasart, who was general secretary of Podem Catalunya during the birth stage of the formation, despite the fact that she ended up resigning her positions in the party. She will be Counselor of Justice.

The Department of Vice Presidency, Digital Policies and Territory disappears as such and will be distributed in other ministries. Even so, the historic Ministry of Territory is maintained, which will be led by the former mayor of Sabadell and current deputy in Parliament, Juli Fernández.

The current spokesperson for the ERC in Parliament and also a former minister, Meritxell Serret, will assume the portfolio of Acció Exterior. Serret is one of the councilors of the Government of Carles Puigdemont who went into exile after the referendum of October 1, 2017.

The departure of the Government of Jaume Giró has opened the doors of the Department of Economy to Natàlia Mas, who had already been part of the Ministry when it was headed by Oriol Junqueras and later was Secretary of Foreign Action.

The remodeling –which is nourished by people from the ERC but also from the orbit of the PSC, the commons and the defunct CDC– is the result of the decision of the Junts militancy, which in an internal consultation opted to leave the Government. this Friday.

The crisis broke out on Friday, but it began just over a week after Aragonès dismissed Jordi Puigneró as vice president for loss of confidence. The new ministers are expected to take office this Tuesday morning after tomorrow, Monday, the Official Gazette of the Generalitat de Catalunya (DOGC) publishes the appointment.

Presidency sources have stressed that the new Executive Council will not have a vice-president since the Minister of the Presidency, Laura Vilagrà, already performs the functions and now, in addition, will assume the management of the Government delegations throughout Catalonia and the electoral processes. The ERC executive maintains the same number of ministries as there were during the stage with Together and incorporates both party members and independents with the desire to "represent the whole of Catalonia."

The profiles

Meritxell Serret (Foreign Action and Open Government)

The former Minister of Agriculture will be the new Minister of Foreign Action and Gobern Obert. She has been in charge of the Agriculture portfolio between 2016 and 2017, when she was dismissed with the application of article 155. She went into exile in Belgium, where she served as a delegate of the Government of Catalonia in Brussels since 2018.

In the last Catalan elections, she was elected as a deputy in the Parliament and returned to Catalonia, by surprise, a month after the elections. Serret appeared before the Supreme Court voluntarily and the judge released her on provisional release. The Prosecutor's Office asks for a year of disqualification and a fine of 12,000 euros for her participation in the preparations for 1-O.

Juli Fernandez (Territory)

Juli Fernàndez i Olivares (Sabadell, 1977) will be the director of the Department of Territory. Fernández is currently an ERC deputy in the Parliament of Catalonia since the last elections and has been a Government delegate in Barcelona from 2018 to 2021.

He headed the list of Republicans in Sabadell in the municipal elections of 2015 and was elected mayor, a position he held until 2017, when -as had been agreed- he handed it over to another formation of the coalition government.

He was deputy mayor between 2017 and 2019, as well as alderman between 2015 and 2020. In July of that year he resigned from the act to focus on the task of delegate of the Government, in the midst of the covid-19 pandemic.

Carlos Campuzano (Social Rights)

Carlos Campuzano (Barcelona 1965), has been chosen to relieve Violant Cervera in the Ministry of Social Rights.

Graduated in Law, he has a very long political career linked to the former Democratic Convergència de Catalunya (CDC) and later to the PDeCAT, a formation that he left in June 2020.

After being a councilor in the City Council of Vilanova i la Geltrú (1987-1992) and a deputy in the Parliament of Catalonia (1992-1995), in March 1996 he made his debut as a deputy in the Congress of Deputies, where he remained until in 2019, becoming spokesperson for the parliamentary group from 2017 to 2019.

He currently held the direction of the Catalan Federation of Intellectual Disability (Dincat).

Gemma Ubasart (Justice)

Gemma Ubasart will be the new Minister of Justice, Rights and Memory. She will relieve Lourdes Ciuró (JxCat) who had occupied the Department until now. Ubasart led the Podemos space in Catalonia at the beginning of it, and she ended up resigning in 2015 due to the tone of her party and Catalonia Sí Es Pot during the electoral campaign of 27-S.

Born in 1978 in Castellar del Vallès, Ubasart has a doctorate and a degree in Political Science from the UAB and is a professor at the University of Girona. The face of the new counselor is also known for her interventions as an analyst in various media.

Quim Nadal (Universities and Research)

The former socialist councilor of the tripartite Quim Nadal will be the new councilor for Universities and Research of the new government of Pere Aragonès. The portfolio, which until now had been held by the JxCat advisor Gemma Geis, will now be in his hands.

Nadal had responsibilities in both Pasqual Maragall's tripartite and José Montilla's. He headed the Department of Territorial Policy and Public Works from 2003 to 2010.

He was Minister of the Presidency in 2006 and spokesman for the Government between 2003 and 2006.

Nadal, who chaired the Pact for the Right to Decide in Girona, left the PSC in 2015, just one day before the 27-S elections, after 35 years of militancy. He was also the first mayor of Girona under democracy.

Natalia Mas (Economics)

Natàlia Mas will be the new Minister of Economy. Until now, Mas has been General Director of Industry of the Department of Business and Labor and CEO of the Agency for Business Competitiveness (ACCION).

Born in Sant Martí de Tous in 1979, the new head of Economics has a degree in Business Administration and Management and in International Trade from Pompeu Fabra University. She has a master's degree in European Economics from the College of Europe (Belgium), with a grant from the Catalunya-Món patronage, and a master's degree in Economic Policy from Columbia University (United States), with a grant from the La Caixa Foundation.

Manel Balcells (Health)

Manel Balcells (Ripoll, 1958) will replace Josep Maria Argimon as counselor at the head of the Department of Health. The current director of the Center for the Integration of Medicine and Innovative Technologies in Catalonia will take over after Argimon's resignation as a result of the breakup of the executive between ERC and Junts.

Argimon – despite being independent – ​​was appointed by Junts in May 2021, when he was already well known for managing the Covid pandemic as Secretary of Public Health. The new minister is considered one of the promoters of sports medicine in Catalonia.

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