Biel Barceló speaking yesterday. | Joan Torres


Biel Barceló will wait until after the budget debate in parliament to decide whether or not he will continue as a member of parliament.

Following his resignation as vice-president and minister for innovation, research and tourism on Wednesday evening, Barceló told a press conference yesterday that he was committed to getting the 2018 budget finally approved. "Then I will decide what to do."

He said again that his trip to the Dominican Republic was in a private capacity and that the "gift" of this trip was for his role as a contributor to the Fora de Joc programme and not because he was vice-president. He stated that he fully respected the ethical codes of the government and Més that he had signed, adding that "great pressure" had been accumulating and that it was best for the political projects of both the government and the party that he should resign. He accepted total responsibility for what had happened.

Barceló explained that he took the decision to quit and that neither President Armengol nor the Més executive had demanded his resignation. Despite the criticism of his trip by fellow Més member Fina Santiago, he insisted that his relationship with her has always been "extraordinary" and that it will continue to be at both a political and personal level.

Regarding a successor at the tourism ministry, he observed that whoever this may be "will continue with the projects", but he noted - as he has in the past - that the next government will have to decide whether "it makes sense" for tourism to continue to be a single ministry or be integrated into another. This is because by the start of 2019 most of the ministry's powers will have been transferred to the island councils.

Asked whether he thought Podemos might now choose to join the government, Barceló said that he didn't think that they would, and Alberto Jarabo of Podemos himself stated yesterday that this was not a priority. But Jarabo was also making clear that Podemos want an input into the choice of Barceló's successor at tourism.

Jarabo insisted that Barceló's replacement should not depend on which political party is running a ministry but on "the definition of policies". He said that he had been in contact with President Armengol and Més and wished there to be "consensus" over the appointment.

There is, he accepted, "some dispute" regarding the tourism ministry. He could understand that Més wants to keep it and that PSOE might want to take it over in order to "correct mistakes". Jarabo added that Podemos wish to "influence, redirect and redefine policies", suggesting that there was no guarantee that Més would still run the ministry.

Rather than there being a quick decision on a replacement, which is what Més have wanted, it would seem that there will be a period of reflection. This point was also made by PSOE's Vicenç Thomàs, who said that decisions must be taken that are most appropriate for carrying out the government's project.

On Barceló, Thomàs observed that he had done the honourable thing by resigning. "The acceptance of this type of gift is a mistake, and in politics this means that political responsibility has to be assumed."