Darias will be the new Minister of Health of Spain, replacing Salvador Illa

Darias will be the new Minister of Health of Spain, replacing Salvador Illa

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Globe Live Media, Tuesday, January 26, 2021

The President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, announced this Tuesday that the Minister of Territorial Policy and Public Function, the socialist Carolina Darias, will be the new head of the Health portfolio and will be in charge of managing the coronavirus pandemic, in full third wave and with the contagions triggered, replacing Salvador Illa, who left office to lead the candidacy of the PSC in the Catalan elections on February 14.

In addition, he has announced that the vacancy of Darias at the head of Territorial Policy will be filled by the leader of the PSC and former candidate for the presidency of the Generalitat, Miquel Iceta, who at the end of December announced that he was taking a step back and gave Illa the first place on the electoral list for Catalan women.

This has been communicated by Sánchez in a brief statement made in Moncloa after informing the King of these two changes, which represent the first remodeling in the coalition Government of the PSOE and United We Can, when one year has just passed since the inauguration on January 13, 2020.


The government crisis affects only two ministries in the hands of the socialists. The Executive has been defending for weeks that this remodeling would be a “punctual adjustment” to solve the departure of Illa with the minimum possible changes, which was announced a month ago and is now materializing. Both Darias and Iceta had been sounding like favorites since then for the positions they now assume.

With the replacement of Darias by Illa, the President of the Government intends to give continuity to the management of Catalan at the head of Health these months, since the minister has been participating with him since October in the meetings of the Interterritorial Council of the National Health System ( CISNS), and is fully involved in the vaccination process.

And with the entry of Iceta in Territorial Policy, Sánchez rewards the gesture of “generosity” – as he himself has described it – of the PSC leader when he resigned his candidacy for the Generalitat. Iceta made this decision in mid-November after assuming that the minister was a better option to achieve a good result in the Catalan elections, and so he transferred it to Sánchez.

His step back was made public on December 30, but Illa then explained that he would continue to be “at 101%” in the Ministry and in facing the pandemic until the electoral campaign started.

Now, a month later, and three days after the start of the Catalan election campaign, Illa leaves the Ministry in the middle of the third wave and with the contagions soaring. And he also leaves with harsh criticism from the opposition, first, for holding for a month that double status of minister and candidate, and now, for leaving before offering his last appearance in Congress to account for the evolution of the pandemic, scheduled for this Thursday.

Moreover, the fact of leaving before his monthly appearance in the Lower House has even generated discomfort in his government partners of United We Can.

Ben Oakley
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