11/07/2021

Pedro Sánchez's change of direction

2 min
Pedro Sánchez announces government reshuffle

Rumours had been circulating in the Spanish capital for a long time about the government crisis that Pedro Sánchez was preparing, but no one could have suspected that it would have the scope it has finally had. Up to seven new ministers (five women and two men) will form part of an executive from which heavyweights of Sanchezism fall, such as the former vice president Carmen Cavo or José Luis Ábalos, who also leaves the post of secretary of organisation of the PSOE after having been the right hand of Sanchez since he regained the general secretariat of the party. The reshuffle also affects the team closest to the president, since it dispenses with his main adviser, Iván Redondo, who held the position of head of cabinet, in a news received with satisfaction in the PSOE, which had always distrusted the excessive power that he had accumulated.

Sanchez, therefore, undertakes a change of direction in the middle of the legislature with a clear message: a new government with renewed forces, with people who come from the PSOE, mainly from mayorships in medium-sized cities, who belong to the same generation as the president (born in the 70s) and with whom he intends to exhaust the legislature. And what will be the goal of these next two years? Well, basically the economic recovery after the pandemic, and for this reason the new first vice-president will be the head of Economy, Nadia Calviño, the name that comes out stronger from the crisis. Calviño, well considered in Brussels, will be the one to pilot, along with the presidency team led by Félix Bolaños, the distribution of European funds.

On the Catalan front, Miquel Iceta's change of ministry comes as a surprise, as barely six months after landing in Territorial Policy he will take charge of the Ministry of Culture and Sport. Sanchez did not want to reward one of the mainstays of Sanchez's party in the territory, quite the contrary, although Iceta will continue to play an important role in the Catalan portfolio. Another of the surprises of the government change is the signing of the mayor of Gavá, Raquel Sanchez, to occupy the Transport portfolio. The PSC, then, gains one more representative in the council of ministers and with a department that is especially sensitive for Catalonia, such as infrastructures. Not since Josep Borrell under the last Felipe González has a Catalan occupied this ministry, one of the most well endowed economically, and one that takes key decisions for economic development and territorial cohesion.

But if there is one thing that will characterise this government from now on, and even more so after the departure of Pablo Iglesias, it will be presidentialism. Once Susana Díaz in Andalusia has been fulminated, Sánchez no longer has internal opposition in the party. The new government somehow exemplifies this absolute power, and this is also a way of warning the opposition that he has no intention of giving up - quite the contrary. Getting rid of what until yesterday was his hard core, Pedro Sánchez now appears, freed of mortgages, as the only person responsible for all decisions. Probably, the real Sanchezism begins now.

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