Spanish PM Sánchez remodels Cabinet to focus on economy

International

FILE – In this June 22, 2021 file photo, Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez prepares to deliver a statement at the Moncloa Palace in Madrid, Spain. Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has overhauled his Cabinet to form what he calls “the government of the recovery” following the coronavirus pandemic.The biggest change was the exit of Carmen Calvo, Sanchez’s right hand as the top-ranked deputy prime minister. Economy Minister Nadia Calvino was elevated to take her place. (AP Photo/Paul White, File)

MADRID (AP) — Spain’s prime minister overhauled his Cabinet on Saturday, forming what he called “the government of the recovery” following the coronavirus pandemic.

Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez has led a minority coalition government formed by his Socialist Party and the anti-austerity United We Can party since January 2020. He has managed to keep it afloat during the pandemic and pass a budget by securing key votes from opposition parties.

“As we put the pandemic behind us, the new government will focus on the economic recover of the country and the creation of jobs, and taking full advantage of the enormous opportunity the European Union recover funds represent,” Sánchez said.

Women will head 14 of Spain’s 22 governmental ministries, up from 12 in the current Cabinet. Sánchez has made gender equality and women’s rights one of the priorities of his mandate.

Sánchez left untouched the five ministers of United We Can and made all seven changes on the Socialist side of his Cabinet.

The biggest change was the exit of Carmen Calvo, the deputy prime minister. Economy Minister Nadia Calviño was elevated to take her place. Calvo leaves in the aftermath of a tug-of-war with Equality Minister Irene Montero, of United We Can, over the draft of a law that will allowgender self-determination.

José Albares will become the new foreign minister after leaving his post as ambassador to France. Albares will replace Arancha González Laya, who was heavily criticized for the recent diplomatic spat with Morocco.

Juan Campo is out as minister of justice just weeks after Spain’s government pardoned nine instigators of the 2017 secession attempt by the northeastern region of Catalonia. Judge Pilar Llop will leave the presidency of the Senate to take over for Campo.

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