SAWT BEIRUT INTERNATIONAL

| 24 July 2024, Wednesday |

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez’s new cabinet

 Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez on Monday announced his new cabinet, keeping the same number of 22 ministers, 12 women and 10 men, despite reshuffling some of their portfolios.

SOCIALIST MINISTERS:

NADIA CALVINO – ECONOMY

Calvino remains as Sanchez’s first deputy prime minister and top economic expert. She is also one of the main contenders to head the European Investment Bank, a candidacy that EU countries will vote on in early December.

TERESA RIBERA – ENERGY

Ribera is Sanchez’s third deputy. She built up her international profile by getting nearly all EU countries on board with the bloc’s energy market reform and becoming a leading EU envoy for the Nov. 30-Dec. 12 COP28 climate change conference in Dubai.

MARIA JESUS MONTERO – BUDGET

Sanchez has promoted Montero to fourth deputy PM after she proved herself a skilled negotiator in pushing through three consecutive budgets with support from parties outside the coalition government.

FELIX BOLANOS – JUSTICE

Bolanos saw his profile boosted by heightened media exposure while acting as Sanchez’s de facto cabinet chief. He has now been rewarded with the additional Justice portfolio.

JOSE MANUEL ALBARES – FOREIGN AFFAIRS

A career diplomat from a humble background, the former ambassador to France was brought on by Sanchez in 2021 during a cabinet reshuffle to replace Arancha Gonzalez Laya, who was forced out over a dispute with Morocco.

MARGARITA ROBLES – DEFENCE

Former judge Robles became the first female Supreme Court justice in 2004. She has been part of Sanchez’s inner circle since he acceded to power in 2018. Her role became more visible after Russia’s February 2022 invasion of Ukraine.

FERNANDO GRANDE-MARLASKA – INTERIOR

A former High Court magistrate, he has faced criticism from the left and human rights groups for his handling of a deadly mass crossing of migrants from Morocco into the enclave of Melilla. He was one of two openly gay ministers in the previous cabinet along with Culture Minister Miquel Iceta, who Sanchez has now replaced.

PILAR ALEGRIA – EDUCATION AND SPORT

The Socialist Party’s main spokesperson for the past two years, Alegria, 46, will continue heading the education system and has gained the additional Sport portfolio, which was previously within Iceta’s purview. She also replaces Isabel Rodriguez as government spokesperson.

ISABEL RODRIGUEZ – HOUSING

While Rodriguez has been demoted as spokesperson, her new ministry is also a sign of continued confidence in her by a government that has made increased access to affordable housing one of its main promises.

JOSE LUIS ESCRIVA – DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION

Hailed for his role in this year’s reform of the pension system as Social Security and Migration minister, the econometrist is widely seen as a frontrunner in the race to succeed Calvino – who was until now in charge of digital transformation – if she secures the EIB post.

DIANA MORANT – SCIENCE AND UNIVERSITIES

Morant, a telecoms engineer, resigned as mayor of Gandia in 2021 to become minister. She has now gained the Universities portfolio, which was earlier an independent ministry.

LUIS PLANAS – AGRICULTURE

The former labour inspector and diplomat has faced discontent from the rural sector over extreme drought conditions and EU budget cuts.

OSCAR PUENTE – TRANSPORT

The mayor of Valladolid for eight years until losing the office in May, Puente rose to fame when Sanchez picked him to debate conservative opposition leader Alberto Nunez Feijoo when he tried to become prime minister.

JORDI HEREU – INDUSTRY

Mayor of Barcelona between 2006 and 2011, Hereu returned to the private sector after losing control of Spain’s second-biggest city. He replaces Hector Gomez, who only served seven months in the post.

ANGEL VICTOR TORRES – TERRITORIAL POLICY AND DEMOCRATIC MEMORY

Regional leader of the Canary Islands from 2019 to 2023, Torres takes over Territorial Policy from Rodriguez and Democratic Memory from Bolanos.

ELMA SAIZ – SOCIAL SECURITY AND MIGRATION

Saiz, 47, was the Socialist leader in the city hall of Pamplona, the capital of Navarre. She previously ran the northern region’s treasury and now takes over from Escriva.

ANA REDONDO – EQUALITY

Possibly the least known member in this cabinet, Redondo was a councillor in Valladolid and a professor of constitutional law at the city’s university. She takes over one of the most contentious ministries, focused on gender equality and LGBTQ rights, from leftist Podemos party’s Irene Montero, whose radical approach earned her enmity and respect alike.

MINISTERS FROM COALITION PARTNER SUMAR:

YOLANDA DIAZ – LABOUR

Diaz is the second deputy PM and leader of Sumar, a coalition of 15 leftist parties, including Podemos. She has touted as her ministry’s main accomplishments raising the minimum wage by 8%, the furlough scheme during the COVID-19 pandemic and a pro-union labour law reform.

MONICA GARCIA – HEALTH

Garcia, an anesthesiologist, leads Mas Madrid, a left-wing party that split from Podemos in 2019. She has spearheaded the opposition to Madrid’s regional leader, conservative firebrand Isabel Diez Ayuso.

ERNEST URTASUN – CULTURE

Diaz’s right-hand man is a career diplomat and an MEP with The Greens/European Free Alliance. He became Sumar’s spokesperson in June and now replaces Iceta.

PABLO BUSTINDUY – SOCIAL RIGHTS AND CONSUMER AFFAIRS

Aged 40, Bustinduy is the cabinet’s youngest minister. He takes on the Consumer Affairs portfolio from United Left leader Alberto Garzon and replaces Podemos leader Ione Belarra, a vocal critic of Israel’s war in Gaza and constant thorn in Sumar’s side.

SIRA REGO – CHILDREN AND YOUTH

The second-in-command and main spokesperson for the United Left, she became an MEP in 2019. Of Palestinian descent, she is also an outspoken Israel critic. Her ministry is new.

    Source:
  • Reuters