In Spain, the government has nominated Ornella Chacón as president of the publicly owned National Ports Agency, Puertos del Estado. She will replace incumbent José Llorca. José Luis Ábalos is the country’s new Development Minister
Chacón, who was previously Minister of Public Works for the Canary Islands government, is the first woman to hold the post.
She is a native of Puerto del Rosario, on the island of Fuerteventura, in the Canary Islands, where she was born in 1972. She holds a degree in Architecture at the Madird Polytechnic University (UPM), although initially worked for a family business, before becoming a self-employed architect. In 2004, she was employed in her professional capacity by the Puerto del Rosario council. As of 2011, she became a councillor at the Cabildo Insular de Fuerteventura, where she was responsible for Territorial Planning.
As of July 2015, she was appointed Minister of Transport & Public Works of the Canary Islands, and assumed the presidency of public body Puertos Canarios until December 2016.
She takes over at a difficult time, with ongoing confusion in the port industry over the stevedoring reform programme, which has now been inherited by the new Socialist Administration following the recent elections.
Meanwhile, Socialist Party chief of staff, José Luis Ábalos, has been promoted to Economic Development Minister in the new government headed by Pedro Sánchez. He replaces Íñigo de la Serna.
Ábalos, who trained as a primary school teacher, became a member of Congress in 2009. In 1999-2009, he was spokesperson for the municipal government of the city of Valencia, where he was a councillor. In his new job, he is responsible for financial decisions directly impacting ports, where he will also have a major say in any legislation governing the way stevedoring services will be implemented and regulated under the EU-mandated reforms.