The President of Spain’s Government, Pedro Sánchez, has appointed Héctor Gómez as the new Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism, replacing Reyes Maroto, and José Manuel Miñones Conde as Minister of Health, replacing Carolina Darias.
In an institutional declaration at the Moncloa Palace, Sánchez announced these changes, which were planned, given that Darias will be the Socialist candidate for mayor of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and Maroto will be the head of the Madrid City Council ticket in the next municipal elections on 28 May.
In this government reshuffle, the president has decided to replace two ministers with two ministers, and while Héctor Gómez Hernández will be the new head of Industry after having recently held the post of spokesman for the Socialist parliamentary group in Congress, José Manuel Miñones Conde will be in charge of Health after having been the government delegate in Galicia.
Both appointments have been made public after Sánchez communicated them to King Felipe VI and they are expected to be sworn in or promise their posts this Tuesday at the Zarzuela Palace, so that they can join the Council of Ministers on the same day.
Sánchez thanked the two outgoing ministers for their work, especially in managing the pandemic to alleviate the situation of Spanish companies and industry, as well as to strengthen the vaccination campaign.
The head of the Executive praised Reyes Maroto’s long career within the Government, of which she has been a member since 2018, and highlighted the “key boost” she has given to the reindustrialisation and modernisation of the economy, in particular the reactivation of tourism “in the hardest moments of the confinement”.
“The pandemic was a colossal challenge”, said Sánchez after describing as “extraordinary” the management of the former head of industry also in the face of the war in Ukraine, with measures to protect the electro-intensive industry and reduce energy dependence.
“Reyes stood up for herself and rolled up her sleeves to find solutions,” Sánchez stressed, while also highlighting the “fundamental” work of Carolina Darias at the head of the Ministry of Health to “leave the pandemic behind us”.
“She will be linked to the success of the vaccination campaign,” he said of the former Minister of Health, who under her mandate approved the primary care plan with a budget of 1 billion euros, as well as “the largest number of MIR places in history”.
In contrast to the two incoming ministers, Sánchez also praised their careers, since while Héctor Gómez was part of Reyes Maroto’s team and has been a very active Socialist in the Congress of Deputies, the new Minister of Health, José Manuel Miñones, has extensive management experience as Government Delegate in Galicia.
“The new ministers know the areas of their tasks very well, they are backed by experience and quality”, said Sánchez after highlighting that the new Minister of Health has a degree in Pharmacy, a Doctor Cum laude from the University of Santiago de Compostela and is a researcher.
“Two excellent public servants with an impeccable track record and a commitment to defending the general interest”, he stressed, to “continue to deepen the major objectives of this legislature”.
In this sense, Sánchez has opted to continue modernising the major economic sectors “making the most” of the use of European funds to create “more and better jobs” and to strengthen public services to “protect the Spanish middle class”.
HÉCTOR GÓMEZ, A NEW CANARIAN IN SPAIN’S GOVERNMENT
Héctor Gómez (Santa Cruz de Tenerife, 1978) has been a PSOE deputy in Congress since 2019 and president of the Constitutional Commission of the Congress of Deputies. In addition, he was already part of Reyes Maroto’s team when he was director of the Spanish Tourism Institute.
In his party, he has been secretary of International Relations and was the spokesperson of the Socialist Group in the Congress of Deputies for one year, from September 2021 to September 2022.
And in the academic field, Gómez has a degree in Tourism, a degree in Labour Sciences and a degree in Law.
Thus, the new appointments are both political and technical profiles that join Sánchez’s reshuffled team.