The influence of Perry Aragones to face the final year of the legislature. Yesterday, the state president announced two changes in the government: presidential advisor, Laura Villagra, was promoted to deputy head of the executive, and Sergei Sabria became the new deputy of the council. These two positions have precedents in the Catalan administration, but they do not exist at the present time.
Aragones' move meant strengthening his steely heart at the Palau de la Generalitat. Villagra has always been his right-hand man in the government and has been entrusted with the most complex tasks, such as the dialogue with the government of Venezuela. Pedro Sanchez. His closest collaborator was Sabria. In this case, he was outside the Executive Council – as head of the President's Office – but had significant authority in the workings of the federal government.
“Complete the job”
In an appearance from the Torres García Hall of the Palace of the General State, Aragones explained that he seeks to “strengthen” the government in the face of a year of “a lot of work” in which all members of his government will have to do their “best.” “It's a political boost to finish the year we have left and to be able to finish the job,” says an authorized voice from Plaça de Sant Jaume.
We must view Villagra's promotion as an acknowledgment that he continues to negotiate all the complex issues with the central government, of which there are still many. As for the political, such as applying an amnesty or demanding a referendum, and the daily, such as the transfer of Rodales. President Aragones explained, “In the coming months we will have to talk and negotiate a lot, and it is easier to do this from the Vice President rather than from the Ministry.”
Sabria's promotion should be interpreted as public recognition of the work he has done behind the scenes so far. In fact, they point out from Palau that one consequence of his new role as vice chancellor for strategy and communications is that he will have more public exposure, at least to the media, and that he will be able to be present at Tuesday's executive committee meetings. Government sources explain that he will have to become a new face in media appearances, and that if a more “institutional” voice is reserved for Aragonés, he will have to be more “powerful”.
These modifications do not represent a major change in the day-to-day operations of the Generalitats. The evidence is that Villagra will assume the position of Vice President without ceasing to work as presidential advisor, and Sabria will continue to carry out the same tasks as now. However, the president is trying to send some messages. First, the greatest center of government power is the state palace and nothing else. The Plaça de Sant Jaume is where the main issues remaining in his term will pass, such as the resumption of the dialogue table, the transfer of the Rodales or the new funding. Second, the president is determined to exhaust the legislature, which is why he is strengthening his government.
Although it is not part of his plans going forward with the elections, at least for the time being, in Aragonés' appearance, some statements could be heard in the electoral key. For example, their slogan is that they are a “government of certainty,” and also that the president’s ultimate goal is for the Catalans to “renew their confidence.” That last sentence would have been unthinkable a few days ago, but since Saturday he has known that his party has entrusted him with running for re-election. Now you can pronounce it without problems.
What happened yesterday is the third change of government that Aragones has made during his three years in office. The first was in October 2022, when together He left the state-general and had to reshuffle half his government. The second was in June 2023, when he changed three members of the council in search of change after the poor results achieved by the council in the municipal elections.
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