Women make up more than half of ministers in the new Cabinet of Spanish PM Pedro

Madrid: Spain’s Socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez retained Nadia Calvino as his economy minister on Monday, revealing a largely unchanged new cabinet he said would be more adept at negotiating with parliamentary allies to pass key legislation.

Sanchez maintained his record cabinets of having more women (12) than men (10) as ministers. His four deputy prime ministers are all female.

In total, Sanchez added nine new faces to the 22-person cabinet.

Calvino, who is the frontrunner for the top job at the European Investment Bank scheduled to be announced at the end of the year, will also keep her position as first deputy prime minister, Sanchez said in a televised statement.

The 55-year-old, who served as a European Commission technocrat, is currently leading negotiations for a new package of fiscal rules in the eurozone as part of Spain’s presidency of the European Council.

Sanchez, who won a vote in parliament to clinch another term last week after months of negotiations, begins his new legislature with a cabinet in which most of the senior ministers retain their positions, an unusual move for a premier previously known for springing surprises in his reshuffles.

Energy Minister Teresa Ribera, Budget Minister Maria Jesus Montero, Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares and Labour Minister Yolanda Diaz, the head of far-left junior coalition partner Sumar, also kept their jobs.

“It’s a high-profile political team for a high-profile political legislature,” Sanchez said. “They are people capable of governing but also of reaching agreements.”

The coalition government with the hard-left platform Sumar has just 152 seats in the 350-seat parliament, so it will need to make agreements with regional parties to pass key legislation, such as a budget for 2024 and raising the minimum wage.

Given the anticipated difficulty of passing laws with a minority government, Budget Minister Maria Jesus Montero will be promoted to be one of four deputy prime ministers.
Cabinet Minister Felix Bolanos will take over the justice portfolio to implement the amnesty law that allowed the Socialists to secure another term. He will also be responsible for the relationship of the government with parliament.

Ana Redondo will replace Irene Montero of the far left Podemos party as equality minister while Podemos leader Ione Belarra has also been demoted.

Junior coalition partner Sumar got five portfolios, keeping its share of power within the cabinet.