Joan Mesquida. | Teresa Ayuga

Joan Mesquida, a leading name in Mallorcan political circles for more than twenty years, has died.

Joan Mesquida, 57, was Balearic finance minister during the 1999-2003 administration headed by Francesc Antich of PSOE. Along with tourism minister Celesti Alomar, he was responsible for the introduction of the original ecotax in 2002.

During the period of the PSOE national government of José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero from 2004 to 2011, he was the national director-general for the Guardia Civil and National Police and later the secretary of state for tourism.

He contemplated standing as leader of PSOE in the Balearics after Antich stood down following the defeat of the PSOE-led pact government of 2007 to 2011. In the end, he decided against entering a leadership contest with Francina Armengol and Aina Calvo.

He was head of strategic projects at Calvia town hall for a time. These projects were especially to do with tourism, and he worked on these with the mayor, Alfonso Rodríguez.

Disillusioned with the direction that PSOE were taking, he left the party and joined Ciudadanos. Enjoying the confidence of Albert Rivera and the current leader of the Cs, Inés Arrimadas, he became a senior figure in the party's executive.

In March he revealed that he had cancer.