Fri. Feb 22nd, 2019

Àngels Chacón, a traveler in front of the Company

Àngels Chacón, una viajera al frente de Empresa

"Is the photo in the outdoor pool?" Asks Àngels Chacón (Igualada, 1968), in the lobby of the Bernat Picornell swimming pools, in Montjuïc. It's a sunny noon, but the water outside is 10 degrees, not fit for the faint-hearted. There are those who swim with the neoprene. But the Consellera de Empresa i ConeixemenT, who brings his swimsuit, hat and glasses, has asked him totally seriously. Of course, breathes relief knowing that the photo for this page will be in the heated pool, with water at 29 degrees. And taking advantage of the session, will give a few strokes. "Water is my element, I like to flow, it relaxes me," he says.

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Chacón is the first woman to take charge of Empresa, a department that manages 1,370 million euros in budget and which is responsible, on the one hand, for the business fabric of Catalonia to be competitive, innovative, sustainable, open to the world and integrator, and on the other to promote research and finance Catalan universities and scholarships. "We have a lot of work. I do not underestimate the progress of companies, but I can not stay stuck in that, "he says, on the decision of 3,700 companies, according to sources of the Official Gazette of the Mercantile Registry, to move their headquarters outside of Catalonia, between October and July. this year, after 1-O.

She was appointed consellera in June and as soon as she arrived at her office, she asked for a blackboard and a map of the world. The blackboard, to make schemes and write down tasks. Having a planisphere nearby is a vestige of the stage in which he traveled the world as responsible for foreign trade of an igualadina paper company.

In those years, with his degree in Law and specialization in international trade, and with English and German as the main languages, he took a plane every week. He woke up in a European country as well as in the Middle East, which were his preferred markets along with the countries of the East. And it had to adapt to everything. "I was always alone. That makes you alert, especially in countries that, let's be clear, expected to meet with a man, "he explains. Sometimes they did not give you a hand. But you learn to be a professional and I must say that I made many friends. In the farewell, we said 'God bless you, yours or mine' ".

She toured Eastern Europe and the Middle East for work but the scare took her to Frankfurt, where she was arrested

The good part of the trips, he says, was the cultural baggage that he acquired, enriching himself with diversity and learning to respect, to be broad-minded. The bad, the change of schedules, food, climate. But I went to the destinations with the duties done. "I knew that at dinner they would talk about soccer and I studied the league of each country, so it was not left out of the conversation", he details, as an example of his adaptation to any scenario. And remember a dinner in Dubai, in the house of a representative, that brought together people from different companies and religions. "There were Jews, Protestants, Catholics, Muslims and Orthodox and they asked me 'explain us about the Virgin Mary!' What a situation, I, that I am not a practitioner ... ", he laughs.

Not everything was so relaxed. On a stop at the Frankfurt airport they stopped her, for a bubble on the passport photo. He was 32 years old. And it was a nightmare of several hours. "They locked me in an isolated and reinforced concrete cell. They made me undress, two policemen came with gloves, they undid my hair. You feel so little, "he says. They took pictures of him in front and in profile. They took off his luggage, emptied the creams and scratched the cardboard he had on display, looking for drugs. The previous week I had been in Turkey. They asked the same questions several times, to see if it contradicted. But he could call the consulate and his company and in the end a fax arrived and everything was clarified. And he could go home.

Going into politics was, at that time, something unimaginable. Although her father had been an independent councilor of CiU in Vilanova del Camí, in the first municipal calls, being a girl. "I remember he told me 'the policy is very complicated, I have to earn a living in my company - industrial maintenance - and I have had some disappointments'. My father, who died nine years ago, was for me a life teacher and did not know that I would devote myself to politics, I have not been able to share with him any of this, "he laments.

In 2001, when her first child was born, she left her job at the paper company and three years later her second daughter was born. In total, it was five years that she was away from that job that had been the center of her life. Instead, she sold shoes in her husband's shop, now ex-husband, in Igualada. "I did not want to leave my small children and fly around the world, I had a physical dependence on them and I am very glad I did. But then I went back to export, "he says. Not for much longer. When he detected a cancer with a poor prognosis for his father, he stopped traveling.

He worked as manager of the Unió Empresarial de l'Anoia, position from which he promoted, together with Dr. Enric Macarulla, a simulation innovation center for health professionals. And in 2011, Convergència proposed to join as independent to the list of Marc Castells, in Igualada. From 2011 to 2017, with Castells de alcalde, Chacón was councilor and deputy mayor of territory, commerce and industry. In 2016 he joined the PDECat, in the founding congress. And from there, his political career caught cruising speed. She was general director of Indústria, position from which she lived the intervention of the Generalitat by the State for the application of article 155, at the end of October. And, above all, the massive exit of companies from Catalonia, an issue that remains on his desk, now in his office of consellera de Empresa.

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