Spain’s new “feminist” cabinet has officially started its work following a reshuffle of Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, with economic recovery high on the agenda, reported EURACTIV partner EFE.
Sanchez unveiled a sweeping cabinet reshuffle on Saturday, replacing key ministers in foreign affairs and justice while increasing women’s representation and lowering the average age of government.
“The changes in the executive have only one objective: to relaunch economic, social and territorial recovery”, Sanchez said.
“We are entering a new phase in the executive, with a team that brings youth, proximity and experience in the public service to engage in a recovery that is fair, social, digital, green and feminist,” he said added on Twitter.
Spain plans to use the bulk of its roughly € 70 billion in grants from an EU stimulus package to respond to the economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has left some 16 of the total population – and nearly 40% of the country’s youth – unemployed.
It will also invest 4.3 billion euros in the production of electric vehicles and batteries as the country adapts to the evolution of the automotive industry in Europe, according to a national strategic plan approved on Tuesday.
The cabinet reshuffle coincides with a fifth wave of COVID-19 which has seen a dizzying increase in coronavirus cases among young people and the unvaccinated. The situation in Catalonia is particularly worrying.
The incidence rate in Spain has surpassed the level of “extreme risk” as the country reaches the peak of its summer tourist season, which is crucial for the economy.
The major cabinet reshuffle is the first undertaken by Sanchez since forming his second government in 2020 and marks the first change since Salvador Illa resigned his post as health minister in January and Pablo Iglesias resigned his post as health minister. Deputy Prime Minister in March, before retiring from politics.
Government sources said the reshuffle was aimed at politically strengthening the executive branch before the next legislative session. It comes after Sanchez pardoned nine imprisoned Catalan politicians and activists for their involvement in the illegal 2017 independence referendum and subsequent declaration of independence.
[Edited by Paula Kenny/Josie Le Blond]