Spain’s re-Elected Prime Minister Sanchez Announces New Cabinet Setup
MADRID, November 20 (Sputnik) – Re-elected Spanish Prime Minister and leader of Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE) Pedro Sanchez formed on Monday a new coalition government, in which women are a majority.
“Now I will inform you about the setup of the new coalition government formed by the Socialist Party and [the left-wing movement] Sumar, a government with four female deputy ministers and 22 ministries, in which, as has been traditional over the past five years, there are more female ministers than male ones, that is, 12 women and 10 men,” Sanchez told reporters.
The re-elected prime minister left the skeleton of the Spanish cabinet unchanged: PSOE member Nadia Calvino will remain the economy minister, while Yolanda Diaz from Sumar will continue as Spain’s minister of labor, and Teresa Ribera will remain the minister for ecological transition and demographic challenge. They will also remain the first, the second and the third deputy prime minister, respectively. Finance Minister Maria Jesus Montero from PSOE will be the fourth deputy prime minister.
There are also no changes in key positions including those of ministers of the interior, of defense and of foreign affairs, which will remain occupied by PSOE members Fernando Grande-Marlaska, Margarita Robles and Jose Manuel Albares, respectively. Other PSOE members will keep their posts as well. Felix Bolanos will continue as minister of the presidency and also assume the position of justice minister. Luis Planas will remain agriculture minister, and Education Minister Pilar Alegria will head the new joint ministry of education and sports as well as serve as the cabinet spokesperson.
There have been changes in other Spanish ministries. Member of the European Parliament and Sumar member Ernest Urtasun will become culture minister, while Oscar Puente from PSOE will assume the position of transport minister. Monica Garcia from Sumar will be health minister, and Isabel Rodriguez from PSOE will be the minister of territorial policy. Sumar member Pablo Bustinduy will become minister of social rights and 2030 agenda, while Ana Redondo Garcia and Sira Rego, both also from Sumar, will become equality minister and children and youth minister, respectively.
The remaining ministerial positions will be occupied by PSOE members. Angel Victor Torres will become minister of territorial policy, while Jose Luis Escriva will be minister of digital transformation, and Jordi Hereu will serve as industry minister. Elma Saiz and Diana Morant will be minister of social affairs and science and universities minister, respectively.
Last Thursday, Sanchez was reelected as Spain’s prime minister. He was able to enlist the support of the Catalan separatist parties, having accepted the conditions put forward by the former president of Catalonia and leader of the Junts party, Carles Puigdemont, who is still under investigation for organizing a separatist referendum in 2017. Puigdemont demanded, among other things, that all legal cases related to Catalan separatism be dropped, and that the Spanish parliament draw up a law on amnesty for supporters of Catalan independence. This decision sparked discontent in Spanish society. Immediately after the election results were announced, a protest rally against Sanchez and the amnesty law took place, with 15 people later detained.
In July, Spain held a general election in which the right-wing People’s Party (PP) won the most votes and 137 seats out of 350 in the Spanish parliament. However, even with the support of the far-right VOX party, it still fell short of the 176 seats needed to form a government. PP leader Alberto Feijoo lost the vote for prime minister in parliament, so Sanchez was nominated by King of Spain Felipe VI instead.