The new Prime Minister of Spain, Pedro Sánchez (PSOE) informed King Felipe of the members of his new cabinet during an audience at Zarzuela Palace on Wednesday evening. Here is the full list.
Pedro Sánchez's New PSOE Government
Deputy Prime Minister, Relations With Parliament & Equality Minister—Carmen Calvo (Córdoba, Andalusia 1957)—A doctor of constitutional law, Ms. Calvo was formerly Culture Minister in the government of José Luis Rodriguez Zapatero from 2004-2007 and the regional culture minister in Andalusia from 1996-2004. She was also the Deputy Speaker of Congress for a few years. A strong defender of women's rights, she also formed part of Pedro Sánchez's team to coordinate the suspension of home rule in Catalonia with the Popular Party following the declaration of independence last year.
Government Spokeswoman, Education & Professional Training Minister—Isabel Celaá (Bilbao, Basque Country, 1949)—A professor of English, Ms. Celaá also holds a law degree and was the regional minister of education in the Basque Country in Patxi López's socialist government from 2009-2012. She presided, as chairwoman of the party's Ethics & Guarantees Commission, over the primary process that saw Pedro Sánchez come back and beat Susana Díaz as leader of the PSOE in 2017, after touring Spain to obtain grassroots socialist support. ABC reported Ms. Celaá had lived for a time in both Belfast and Dublin.
Home Secretary—Fernando Grande Marlaska (Bilbao, Basque Country, 1962)—A senior judge, Marlaska has been chief justice of the criminal bench of the National High Court in Madrid since 2012. He has also been a member of Spain's Judicial Council since 2013. He investigated cases against Basque terror group ETA and the Yak-42 plane crash that killed 62 Spanish soldiers in Turkey in 2003, while they were returning from a tour in Afghanistan.
Justice Minister—Dolores Delgado (Madrid, 1962)—A public prosecutor specialising in anti-terrorism investigations at the National High Court in Madrid, and more specifically the fight against jihadi terror. Europa Press characterised Ms. Delgado as "a firm defender of universal justice". She worked as a prosecutor on the International Criminal Court against Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. On July 26, 2017, the day Mariano Rajoy appeared before the National High Court as a witness in the Gürtel corruption case, Ms. Delgado tweeted: "This systemic corruption is unbearable. What we have seen today is pathetic, sad and outrageous".
Foreign Affairs, European Union & Cooperation Minister (Foreign Secretary)—Josep Borrell (Lérida, Catalonia, 1947)—An aeronautical engineer, Mr. Borrell was formerly Public Works Minister in the government of Felipe González from 1991-1996. He also won the PSOE primary to be their candidate in the general election in 2000, but stepped back in favour of Joaquín Almunia. He was also President of the European Parliament from 2004-2007. During the separatist crisis in 2017, Mr. Borrell strengthened his reputation as a statesman-like, constitutionalist debater against Catalan nationalist rhetoric. Former Catalan First Minister Carles Puigdemont—still a fugitive from Spanish justice—wondered ironically on Twitter if Mr. Borrell's appointment was the "deescalating brotherly message" the PSOE had in mind.
Defence Minister—Margarita Robles (León, Castilla y León, 1956)—Formerly the PSOE's spokeswoman in Spain's lower house of parliament, Congress, Ms. Robles has been an MP since 2016 and used to be a Supreme Court judge and a member of the country's Judicial Council, and was a secretary of state in Felipe González governments in the 1990s. On June 5, El Mundo described Ms. Robles as the PSOE's "highway to the Basque Nationalist Party (PNV)" during the recent negotiations to oust Mr. Rajoy, and that she is also very close to senior Podemos leaders.
Public Works Minister—José Luis Ábalos (Valencia, 1959)—A schoolteacher by profession, Mr. Ábalos has been Mr. Sánchez's secretary of organisation in the Socialist Party since he came back to power in 2017. He held several local and regional political posts in Valencia in the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s, and has been an MP since 2009. Part of Mr. Sánchez's political inner circle, Mr. Ábalos introduced the new Prime Minister at the no-confidence debate that ousted Mariano Rajoy last week in Congress.
Finance Minister—María Jesús Montero (Seville, Andalusia, 1966)—Ms. Montero holds a medical degree and has been the regional finance and public administration minister in Andalusia since 2013, so is considered close to regional socialist leader Susana Díaz. Mrs. Montero was previously the regional health minister from 2004-2013 and is an MP in the regional parliament. The Diario de Sevilla reported the PSOE in Andalusia was happy with her appointment, as she would provide a key national link and is considered to be well-read on the intricacies of regional financing in Spain.
Economy & Business Minister—Nadia Calviño (La Coruña, Galicia, 1968)—Ms. Calviño holds degrees in law and economics and held a string of posts in Spanish ministries before being appointed Director-General for Budget at the European Commission in 2014. Spanish business daily Expansión reported Pedro Sánchez had notified Jean Claude Juncker, the President of the European Commission, in person of the appointment of Ms. Calviño "as a sign of economic stability". The chairwoman of Banco Santander, Ana Botín, tweeted her congratulations to Mrs. Calvino on Tuesday "at a key moment for the European Union"; she would be "a guarantee Spain would continue to increase its weight in European institutions".
Employment, Migration & Social Security Minister—Magdalena Valerio (Cáceres, Extremadura, 1959)—Ms. Valerio holds a degree in law and is a civil servant by profession, specialising in social security. She was an MP in Congress from 2011-2016 and served as a regional minister in the socialist government in Extremadura until 2010. She is a member of the PSOE's Federal Executive Committee. Spanish media reported she is considered very close to Mr. Sánchez, supporting him in the leadership race last year against the candidate from neighbouring Andalusia, Susana Díaz.
Industry, Commerce & Tourism Minister—Reyes Maroto (Valladolid, Castilla y León, 1973)—Ms. Maroto holds an economics degree and is a university lecturer and an MP in the regional parliament in Madrid, where she works as a spokesperson on the budget committee. She has been responsible for sustainable development policies at the Madrid Socialist Party.
Health, Consumers & Social Welfare Minister—Carmen Montón (Valencia, 1976)—Ms. Montón has until now been the regional health minister in Valencia and is a political ally of the new Prime Minister, supporting him through his fight to regain power in the Socialist Party. She is considered a supporter of public healthcare and a critic of preferential treatment for pharmaceutical companies, and was an MP in Congress from 2004-2015. In a short description of herself on the PSOE website, Ms. Montón said she was most proud of having worked on legislation to bring about gay marriage and improvements in civil rights for LGBTI citizens, and abortion for women.
Agriculture, Fisheries & Food Minister—Luis Planas (Valencia, 1952)—An employment inspector who holds a law degree, Mr. Planas was briefly considered as a rival for First Minister of Andalusia against Susana Díaz, but did not receive enough support to move forward with his challenge. He has been an MP in Congress, an MEP, a senator and a regional MP in Andalusia, and Spanish Ambassador to Morocco. He served as the regional agriculture minister for just over a year from 2012-2013. Since 2014, Mr. Planas has been the secretary general of the European Economic and Social Committee
Territorial Policy & Civil Service Minister—Meritxell Batet (Barcelona, Catalonia, 1973)—Ms. Batet holds a law degree and has taught administrative and constitutional law as a university lecturer. She will be in charge of working out what to do about Catalonia after the separatist crisis in 2017. She has been an MP in Congress since 2004. "Meritxell is a person who works hard", Pedro Sánchez told La Vanguardia for a 2015 interview with Ms. Batet: "She is a woman of her time and, above all, a woman who has made herself, which not many people know about her".
Science, Innovation & Universities Minister—Pedro Duque (Madrid, 1963)—Spain's first astronaut, Mr. Duque has travelled into space twice, once aboard the space shuttle Discovery in 1998 and once aboard a Soyuz spacecraft to the International Space Station. He was awarded the Prince of Asturias Prize for International Cooperation in 1999. An enthusiastic Twitter user, Mr. Duque tweeted when news of his appointment broke that he "wished mum was here" to see it. He has also tweeted against reiki and homeopathy.
Ecological Transition Minister—Teresa Ribera (Madrid, 1969)—Ms. Ribera holds a law degree, is a civil servant by profession, and was the Secretary of State for Climate Change until 2011, in the second government of José Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, and has been the director of the Institute of Sustainable Development and International Relations in Paris since 2014. She was a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Advisory Council on climate from 2014-2016.
Culture & Sports Minister—Maxim Huerta (Valencia, 1971)—A journalist and TV presenter, Mr. Huerta has also written several novels and other books. His appointment was the last to be revealed on Wednesday, and had not been leaked to the press beforehand.
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