Spain’s Sanchez Elevates Economy Minister in Cabinet Reshuffle

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez reshuffled his Cabinet for the first time Saturday, elevating the economy minister as his main deputy and bringing in a group of younger ministers with the aim of focusing on the country’s economic recovery from the pandemic.

Nadia Calvino, who until now served as both second deputy prime minister and economy minister, will become first deputy prime minister, while retaining the economics brief, Sanchez said. The powerful Cabinet Chief Ivan Redondo will depart and seven new ministers will enter the Cabinet.

“Once the harshest of part of the pandemic has been overcome, the new government’s main focus will be to consolidate the economic recovery and also create employment,” Sanchez said. “And, without a doubt, that huge opportunity offered by the European funds to modernize and bolster our economy.”

Spain’s Sanchez Elevates Economy Minister in Cabinet Reshuffle

Calvino would tap her prior experience at the European Commission, including her years as director general in charge of Budget. Spain will be the second-biggest recipient of funds from the European recovery program and will be eligible to access about 140 billion euros in the next few years. The country suffered the largest contraction in Europe during 2020 as lockdowns wrecked its tourism-dependent economy.

Sanchez also highlighted that the new government’s average age will be 50 years, five lower than previously, and that women will account for 63% of the Cabinet, up from the previous 55%.

Sanchez only reshuffled ministries held by his Socialist party, and didn’t touch any of the five ministries held by the junior partner Unidas Podemos. Still, as Calvino was elevated to become first deputy prime minister, Yolanda Diaz of Podemos, went from third to second deputy prime minister.

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