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Villamayor leads Illa’s advisory council

Tarragona is very present in the hard core of confidence of the First Secretary of the PSC, Salvador Illa. The socialist leader has in his Govern Alternatiu a Pere Aragonès (ERC) with Rubén Viñuales from Tarragona and Rosa Maria Ibarra from Valle. In addition, his right-hand man is Javier Villamayor, councilor at Plaça de la Font between 2011 and 2019 when he served as the highest political figure in charge of the 2018 Mediterranean Games.

For years, Villamayor sounded like one of the most solid alternatives to succeed Josep Fèlix Ballesteros as mayor. Despite this, this option never came to fruition, and the former mayor ultimately chose to swerve his political career and bet on what he likes most: being in the engine room as the guardian of the message. Years ago, he was already a basic piece along with Salvador Illa of the candidacies of José Zaragoza and Meritxell Batet in the General for Barcelona. And in the last ones in the Parliament of Catalonia he also had an important role in the team of the now socialist presidential candidate.

After leaving the Consistory, Bonavista returned to his place in the Diputació de Barcelona. However, far from “leveraging”, he did not take long to assume first-level responsibilities after the pact of the PSC with Junts per Catalunya three years ago that led Núria Marín to the presidency of the provincial entity. Since 2019, Villamayor has been the coordinator of the economic development, tourism and trade area of ​​the second institution with the largest budget in Catalonia.

Influential role in BCN
At the same time, with Illa consolidated as the winner of the regional elections of 2021 and head of the opposition in the Parc de la Ciutadella, Villamayor has emerged as the person from Tarragona with a more influential role in the organizational chart than was the Minister of Health of the worst stage of the coronavirus pandemic. Proof of this is that the man from Tarragona is the coordinator of the new Advisory Council to the Socialist First Secretary, which met for the first time on Monday. This body is made up of 15 academics from the fields of economics, medicine or law to advise it “on the strategic lines on how to address the problems that will affect Catalonia in the coming years,” says Villamayor. Its members include Joan Clos, former mayor of Barcelona; Cristina Gallach, senior civil servant of the European Union, now on leave of absence; Margarita Arboix, Professor of Pharmacy and former Rector of the UAB; Olga Pané, manager of the Marc Parc Salut Consortium in Barcelona; the former delegate of the Central Government in Catalonia, Teresa Cunillera; or the exconeller of Treball, Jordi Valls.

The former councilor, who joined the PSC’s national executive in December, will be in charge of piloting the management and operation of the council. “The function of this entity will be that of a plane that will fly at a height of 15,000 meters to have a global vision, away from day-to-day, focusing on long-range issues such as climate change,” says the man from Tarragona, who highlights that his commitment by Illa is due “to her leadership and ability to form teams”.

Already well entrenched in the gear at the Catalan level, Villamayor rules out returning to Tarragona in the short term, although he acknowledges that “you can never say that I will not drink this water.” The eternal mayor will continue in the shadows for the next few years to shed light on Illa’s strategic line.

  • politics
  • Javier Villamayor
  • PSC
  • Tarragona
  • Salvador Island

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