A government reshuffle, a political crisis
When a president of the Generalitat reshuffles the government, it means that there is a political crisis, be it more or less serious. This is what has happened with the change made by Pere Aragonès, who has appointed Laura Vilagrà as vice-president and Sergi Sabrià as vice-advisor for Strategy and Communication. These two names, which have been interpreted by the opposition as an electoralist movement, also reflect a dissatisfaction of the president with the performance of his executive and a desire to improve it in this year that remains in his legislature – or what he consider appropriate – as it does not make sense to do a remodeling now and not fulfill the mandate.
“It will give us the opportunity to incorporate new public voices so that the Government’s message reaches everyone and everywhere”, said the president at the event that took place on Tuesday in Palau. This phrase hides another message: the president is not very satisfied with the way his executive’s actions have been communicated to society so far. Therefore, the objective of this remodeling is, on the one hand, to give Vilagrà prominence in the negotiation with the Spanish government and the benefits that can be obtained, and, on the other hand, to make Sergi Sabrià the responsible for the communication of the work of government until the elections.
A reshuffle of government, some unresolved problems
However, the Government must be aware that this third remodeling in a year does not solve the problems it has on the table and that are eroding the executive. It is true that the president strengthens the Presidency and Communication, but he has other issues that erode even more than the good or bad communication of what the Government does. The drought, education and healthcare are three obvious examples of the challenges that the Aragonese executive will have to face during this year of government that is ahead of him. Aragonès and his councilors were aware of this and a clear example is that they have worked to be able to announce pacts in both areas this Thursday to calm teachers and nurses.
Aragonès is not hiding and will repeat himself as a candidate to try to continue four more years at the head of the Generalitat, but he will need something more than a reshuffle of the Government and sell a work that, as Oriol Junqueras himself recognized when ERC chose again Aragonès as a candidate for the presidency of the Generalitat, he needs four more years to “finish the job”. Pasqual Maragall, José Montilla, Artur Mas, Carles Puigdemont and Quim Torra lost votes in their parties after the first investiture. There is still a year left to change the electoral trend after reaching the presidency, but the ERC electoral trend and the polls do not invite optimism either. What will happen to Aragonès? We will know in a year.