Elsa Artadi rejects post in Pere Aragonés's Government

She stays in the party as a candidate in Barcelona

2 min
JxCat spokeswoman Elsa Artadi at a recent press conference.

Elsa Artadi will not be in Pere Aragonés's government. The news, originally broken by La Vanguardia, was confirmed to ARA by party sources. The Junts spokeswoman will remain in the party as a mayoral candidate for Barcelona. Artadi's decision is personal and rattles party plans: she was expected to be Junts' strong woman in Government, as well as head of the Department of Economy, responsible for the European funds.

Artadi has already communicated her decision to Junts secretary general, Jordi Sànchez, who is to pick Junts' cabinet members. Artadi's decision has surprised the party, since it was one of the few posts that seemed certain. Even so, in recent days people close to her had already warned that she had doubts. "It is a personal question," say party sources, while others recall that her goal is Barcelona city council.

Artadi has also written to the municipal group she leads. "She maintains her total commitment to Barcelona, to work in the city council and to making change in the city council a reality in the 2023 elections," the party has expressed in a statement. "More than a no to the Government of the Generalitat, it is a reinforced yes to the city of Barcelona," Artadi said in a statement.

She also sent a message to party member regretting that her decision was "leaked". "I wanted to tell you this afternoon, before making it public tonight. Unfortunately, someone has leaked it and the news has broken," she said in the message, explaining that she had spoken with Puigdemont, Borràs and Sànchez.

Artadi has been one of the key pieces of the negotiations for the investiture of Aragonès, since along with Josep Rius, Francesc Dalmases and Míriam Nogueras was part of the delegation led by the secretary general of the party. In fact, some voices point out that she was not happy with the last stretch of negotiation and that Sànchez's ways - hermetic until the last moment about his meeting with Aragonès during the weekend - did not convince her.

The new puzzle

Artadi's decision directly affects the choice of Junts government ministers. According to the deal between Pere Aragonès and Jordi Sànchez, Junts will name seven Department heads, one of which will also be vice-president. Thus, although recently it had been the head of the Department of Economy who held the vice-presidency, it could now be open to other posts.

There are further doubts: if Artadi is not to be Junts' strong woman in the executive, the party will have to look for a substitute. Who could it be? This Wednesday there is still no clear answer to the question, although an answer will have to be provided soon. On Friday, after Aragonès is invested, Sànchez will tell him who Junts' Department heads will be.

In addition, a decision will have to be made as to who will hold the vice-presidency. Whoever does will have a direct effect on the party leadership, which they will have to share with Puigdemont, Sànchez, and also the presidential candidate in the February elections and current Speaker, Laura Borràs.