By Matthew Roscoe • 26 January 2021 • 14:44
SPAIN’S Face of the Pandemic: Salvador Illa Says Goodbye to Ministry of Health
Salvador Illa says goodbye to Spain’s Ministry of Health today (January 26), officially leaving his position of minister to become a candidate for ‘president’ of the Generalitat of Catalonia.
“I am taking with me all the families who have lost a loved one and all those who have suffered the disease,” Illa said in his last appearance after the Council of Ministers, in which he appeared accompanied by the minister spokesperson, María Jesús Montero, and the Minister of Social Security, José Luis Escrivá.
Illa leaves the office amid a third wave of covid-19 that is severely hitting Spain and Europe and has warned in his farewell that the pandemic is still a “worrying” scenario, due to hospital pressure across the country and with many people still stuck in ICUs because of the coronavirus.
After a year at the helm, Illa has become the face of the pandemic in Spain, however, he assured the public that he feels himself to be “a public servant” and will always be “where he can be most useful.”
“The situation of the pandemic in Spain is worrying, the accumulated incidence is high, although the seven-day incidence points to a positive trend. It is also true that those autonomous communities that have initiated more restrictive measures have begun to lower their cases. I want to remind you that in Spain there is a state of alarm in force and that, thanks to vaccines, we are at the beginning of the end, although there are months ahead,” he concluded.
Illa will now dedicate himself to his task as the candidate of the PSC to the Generalitat, with his replacement, for the difficult task, set to be the Minister of Territorial Policy, Carolina Darias, who in turn, could be relieved by the first secretary of the PSC, Miquel Iceta.
Yesterday, Spanish President Pedro Sánchez said goodbye to the departing Minister of Health, stating: “There are very few hours left for the relief at the Ministry of Health, it has been an honour to work with you during these months, I understand your decision.
“The challenge ahead is exciting, complex and very necessary for Catalonia and Spain in the work of reunification. If 2020 was the year of the pandemic, I have no doubt that 2021 is the year of the vaccine and, therefore, of the recovery.”
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Originally from the UK, Matthew is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]
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