Female ministers are now the majority as Spanish PM reshuffles cabinet

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez reshuffled his government Tuesday, in a move that will see the majority of government posts handed to women.

Female ministers are now the majority as Spanish PM reshuffles cabinet
A January 2021 photo of the Spanish cabinet, which is now composed of more women than men. Photos: PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP

The cabinet is now composed of 12 women and 10 men, with the four key posts of deputy premier held by women.

Spain was the “only country in the world” to have a cabinet dominated by women, Sanchez said.

Pablo Iglesias, the leader of the far-left Podemos party, was replaced as vice president by Labour Minister Yolanda Diaz, also from Podemos.

Iglesias has quit the government to run for the post of Madrid’s regional chief. He posted a short video message on his Twitter account, vowing to continue to work where he felt he “could be of most use”.

Sanchez told journalists the reshuffle maintained the coalition deal he had with Podemos under which they held one deputy premier post.

The alliance between the Sanchez’s socialists and Podemos has been fraught with tension in recent weeks, notably as a result of the jailing of rapper Pablo Hasel over the contents of his lyrics.

Podemos, the junior partner in the government, has condemned his imprisonment, citing free speech concerns.

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Spain’s Pedro S├ínchez warns over opposition’s tie up with far-right

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez warned Wednesday the right could reverse minimum wage hikes and other social advances if it wins an early general election in July.

Spain's Pedro Sánchez warns over opposition's tie up with far-right

Sánchez called the snap poll on Monday May 29th after his Socialist party was defeated by the right-wing opposition Popular Party (PP) in local and regional elections a day earlier.

The PP seized six regions that had been led by Socialists although in most of them it will need the support of the far-right Vox party to govern.

The polls were widely seen as a dress rehearsal for a general election that had been expected at the end of the year, but is now slated for July 23rd.

READ ALSO: Who won where in Spain’s regional elections?┬á

In an address to Socialist lawmakers, S├ínchez said there is “no difference” between the PP and Vox, and warned they would “dismantle the social progress” made since he took office in 2018.

Among the reforms at risk if the right wins the July 23rd election is a sharp rise in the minimum wage, extra funding for scholarships and a climate change law, he said.

“We have to clarify if Spaniards want to continue with policies that expand rights or if they want to repeal those rights,” the premier added.

“We can’t afford the luxury of giving up even a centimetre of ground.”

The PP – which has for months topped opinion polls – had framed Sunday’s elections as a referendum on S├ínchez.

During the campaign, PP head Alberto N├║├▒ez Feij├│o argued that the vote was an opportunity to “turn the page on ‘Sanchismo’,” a derogatory expression for S├ínchez’s policies.

READ ALSO – PROFILE: Who is Alberto N├║├▒ez Feij├│o and could he be Spain’s next PM?

Sánchez has struggled with public fatigue with his government as well as voter disenchantment over soaring inflation and falling purchasing power.

He has also been hurt by the repeated crises with hard-left coalition partner Podemos, as well as by his reliance on Catalan and Basque separatist parties to pass legislation.