The director of the Tax Agency (AEAT), Jesús Gascón Catalán, is emerging as the next Secretary of State for Finance. He would come to replace Héctor Izquierdo, who has been in office for only six months and who will leave the post to lead the new Commissioner for the Reconstruction of the island of La Palma. With the change, the ministry led by María Jesús Montero would bet on a moderate profile, much more technical and with a long experience in the matter.
Born in Zaragoza in 1961 and graduated in Law, Gascón is far from the political fray and has wide recognition in the institution from which he comes. His career has always been linked to the Tax Agency. State Treasury Inspector, he held various positions within the agency before being appointed director in June 2018. He has also taught courses and conferences for various public and private institutions.
In the second government of Zapatero, Gascón was appointed director of Taxes in the Ministry of Finance, between 2008 and 2012. In that period he had to face the harsh fiscal consequences of the real estate and financial crisis. He then worked in the agency’s Internal Audit Service, until his promotion as director of the Tax Agency.
Although his appointment as Secretary of State for the Treasury has not been confirmed, government sources assure that he has all the ballot papers to be appointed to the position. In fact, the appointment of Izquierdo as head of the Secretary of State for the Treasury in January was quite a surprise within the ministry. Already then it was expected that Gascón would occupy the post.
The new Secretary of State will have to implement the fiscal reform committed to Brussels for the first quarter of next year in the middle of the electoral year. This should be based on the report prepared by the experts and published at the beginning of March. He will also have to participate in the elaboration of budgets marked by the electoral appointment, the lack of parliamentary support and an economic context of high uncertainty.
Izquierdo, who has a degree in Law and a doctorate in Economic and Business Sciences, has worked as a professor at several universities and has been a manager in various public and private companies before being appointed Secretary of State for the Treasury. He had appeared on the PSOE list as an independent in the 2019 general elections.
He knows in depth all the sides of the coin.
From 2020 to 2022 he served as executive president of the State Mercantile Society for Property Management (SEGIPSA), dependent on the Ministry of Finance. In January 2022, he was appointed Secretary of the Treasury, after the departure of Inés Bardón ―very close to Minister Montero since her time as Minister of the Treasury in Andalusia― for personal reasons and shortly after the report of the experts on the tax reform.
The Minister for the Presidency, Félix Bolaños, announced this Monday that the Council of Ministers will approve tomorrow the creation of a Commissioner for the Reconstruction of the island of La Palma after the eruption of the volcano, and that this will be chaired by Izquierdo, a native of the island. For this reason, the Government considers that he is one of the most suitable senior officials to carry out the new function.