Sánchez appoints Héctor Gómez Minister of Industry and José Manuel Miñones Head of Health
The President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, has decided to bring forward the departures of the Ministers of Health and Industry and Tourism, Carolina Darias and Reyes Maroto, respectively, to this Monday so that they can focus on their respective campaigns as candidates for mayor of Las Palmas of Gran Canaria –the first– and the city of Madrid. Replacing Darias, the new Minister of Health will be José Manuel Miñones, until now a Government delegate in Galicia with a degree in Pharmacy. At the head of Industry and Tourism, Sánchez has decided to name, on his part, the socialist exporter in Congress, Héctor Gómez.
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According to his official profile, Miñones (Santiago de Compostela, 1972) has been a contracted professor in the Department of Chemistry and Physics of the University of Santiago de Compostela and, in the political sphere, he was a councilor in the Ames town hall (A Coruña ) and mayor of the same between 2015 and until March 2021, when he was appointed government delegate. He has also been a member of the Mobility and Accessibility Commission of the Spanish Federation of Municipalities (FEMP).
Gómez (Santa Cruz de Tenerife, 1978) is, for his part, a graduate in Law, a graduate in Labor Sciences and a diploma in Tourism. He has developed his professional career in the private and public sectors, first as a councilor in the Guía de Isora City Council and later as an autonomous deputy for the Tenerife constituency and second secretary of the Board of the Parliament of the Canary Islands. Between 2018 and 2019 he was Director General of Turespaña, in 2019 he was elected deputy to the Congress of Deputies for the Tenerife constituency and currently, he is spokesman for the Foreign Affairs Commission of the Congress of Deputies.
Miñones, as the new Minister of Health, has pending the creation of the state public health agency. Darias announced it in September 2021 and, although the standard was expected to be ready by the end of last year, the Council of Ministers approved in February the second round of the bill for this body that will provide a “quick and effective response to future risks of public health in Spain”, informs David Noriega. Precisely, after the Public Health Commission, held on Friday, March 10, the Institutional Committee of the Public Health Surveillance Strategy met to address the progress in the implementation of the strategy, both at the regulatory level and resources.
In limbo is also the regulation of medical cannabis. The Government should have delivered a regulation proposal at the end of December, but despite the fact that both Health and the Spanish Agency for Medicines and Health Products have been assuring that it is about to come out for more than two months, they did not does. According to the official version, the text is going around different departments and patient groups are beginning to fear that it will not come out.
Reyes Maroto leaves the ministry, for his part, with tourism taking off at pre-pandemic levels and with commercial activity leaving behind the problems in the supply chains that have marked the last two years, reports Cristina G. Bolinches. With one exception, microchips, which are still weighing down the automobile industry, although the lack of this essential component for this sector is significantly less. Last week, Seat announced that, if nothing goes wrong, it will be able to leave behind the job cuts in its production lines during the second half of the year.
In fact, the automobile industry is one of the greatest challenges facing the Ministry. The changes in the PERTE regulation, to make it more flexible and allow companies to present individual projects, without having to form consortia to access European aid, was one of the main requests of the sector. Also, that the execution terms are more flexible, after the first PERTE will remain close to 2,000 million euros without awarding.
In tourism, on the other hand, what lies ahead is to maintain cruising speed, with the sector’s social security affiliation data at maximums and with the arrival of international travelers at pre-pandemic levels. In this sector, on the other hand, the tensions come from prices and the need to find more candidates for the jobs that remain unfilled. Regarding prices, in one of her last acts, Maroto herself made an interview with the director of elDiario.es Ignacio Escolar, a call for containment by companies, so that they do not raise their rates, “We are in an inflationary environment. We all have to put on our side, ”he assured. “After almost two years with restrictions,” traveling, “would have to be affordable,” she summed up.
The work of outgoing ministers during the pandemic
Sánchez, who in his appearance without questions thanked both former ministers for their work, highlighting the work of both especially during the pandemic, has chosen to make the changes in full display of a frenetic international agenda to prepare for the European semester in which Spain will hold the Presidency of the EU.
This Monday the head of the Executive had practically just landed from his trip to the Dominican Republic, where the Ibero-American summit took place this weekend. And this week he will travel to China on a lightning visit in response to the invitation of President Xi Jinping, who arrives in the middle of an attempt by the leader of the Asian superpower to mediate between Russia and Ukraine.
The government crisis also occurs only a week after Vox’s failed motion of no confidence, led by Ramón Tamames, against Sánchez, which failed in Congress last Wednesday.
Far from knocking down the Executive, the motion served Sánchez as an oxygen balloon at a time when relations between his partners were much more than tense. La Moncloa believes that, in addition to having been an “unmitigated success”, the event served to take stock of the government’s action, resume the political initiative and visualize, with the Sánchez-Díaz tandem, that the coalition has “solvency, project and future”