Changes in the Spanish executive
Politics 11/07/2021

Pedro Sánchez revamps his government

Spanish prime minister dispenses with Calvo and Ábalos and promotes Calviño to first vice-president

3 min
The new cabinet of ministers putting before Moncloa

MadridAfter weeks of rumors, the Spanish Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez, reshuffles his government today to give more prominence to the economic area and give a boost to recovery. The changes are substantial and involve the departure of heavyweights and the entry of new faces, especially from the municipal world. The new executive will be more feminine, younger and will have more Catalan ministers due to the entry of the mayor of Gavà, Raquel Sánchez, who will be the new Minister of Transport. The first vice-president of the government and until now the right hand of the president, Carmen Calvo, leaves the executive and is replaced by the Minister of Economy, Nadia Calviño, who goes from being the second vice-president to being the first. The Minister of Labour, Yolanda Diaz, who occupied the third vice-presidency, becomes the second, while the third falls to the Minister of Ecological Transition, Teresa Ribera. In this way, Sánchez strengthens the political weight of the ministers who have to drive economic recovery.

The most significant changes are the departure of prominent figures in Ferraz, such as Calvo and José Luis Ábalos, until now Minister of Transport and Urban Mobility, who also leaves the executive and passes the baton to the mayor of Gavà. Another woman from the municipal world, the mayor of Puertollano (Ciudad Real), Isabel Rodriguez, will be the new Minister of Territorial Policy to replace Miquel Iceta, who becomes Minister of Culture and Sports, which replaces, in turn, José Manuel Rodríguez Uribes. Sánchez also dispenses with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Arancha González-Laya, the Minister of Education, Isabel Celáa, and the Minister of Science and Innovation, Pedro Duque. The latter will be replaced at the head of the portfolio by the mayor of Gandía and Telecommunications engineer, Diana Morant, while the new head of Foreign Affairs will be José Manuel Albares, until now ambassador in Paris. Celáa will be replaced by the government delegate in Aragón, Pilar Alegría.

Among the new faces the hitherto president of the Senate, the expert judge in gender violence Pilar Llop, is also highlighted, who will be the new Minister of Justice to replace Juan Carlos Campo, who leaves the government - and Félix Bolaños, until now one of the strong men of the Moncloa as Secretary General of Presidency and Relations with the Courts, will be the new Minister of Presidency and will coordinate the cabinet of Sánchez. The changes affect key portfolios and the architecture of the executive, but the reshuffle does not include changes in the five portfolios of Unidas Podemos.

Redondo leaves Moncloa

Sánchez will also reshuffle his cabinet and will dispense with Iván Redondo, until now one of the people closest to the president. Redondo - who had previously worked as a political adviser to the PP in Extremadura - was his main adviser and has guided Sánchez's policies and actions in recent years. He was one of the most powerful people in Moncloa.

Today's has been the first major government reshuffle. The legislature began to walk a few weeks before the outbreak of the pandemic and since then, Sánchez has only made some small changes forced by the departure of Salvador Illa as a candidate for the Catalan elections. The new members of the executive will take office on Monday, and on Tuesday they will be able to participate in the council of ministers.

Before the details of the reshuffle were made public, PP sources had already criticised the changes and pointed out that "there is no change of ministers that allows Sánchez to take flight" and accused the president of the Spanish government of being "the problem". "It's not the ministers. The problem is the president", PP parliamentary spokeswoman Cuca Gamarra stressed on Saturday.