Madrid, Jul 12 (EFE).- Economic recovery is at the top of the agenda for Spain’s new Cabinet, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said Monday.
“The changes in the executive branch have one goal: to boost economic, social and territorial recovery,” Sanchez posted on Twitter.
“Today we begin a new stage in the executive branch, with a team that brings youth, proximity and experience in public service to commit to a recovery that’s fair, social, digital, green and feminist,” he added.
Sanchez on Saturday unveiled a thorough Cabinet reshuffle, swapping out heavyweight ministers in the areas of foreign affairs and justice while boosting the representation of women and reducing the average age of the government.
Spain plans to use most of its roughly 70 billion euros in grants from an EU recovery scheme to respond to the economic crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, which has left some 16 percent of the overall population – and nearly 40 percent of the country’s youth – unemployed.
It will also invest 4.3 billion euros in the production of electric vehicles and batteries as the country adapts to the changing automotive industry in Europe, Sanchez announced Monday.
The Cabinet reshuffle coincides with a Covid-19 fifth wave that has seen a soaring increase in coronavirus cases among young and unvaccinated people.
The incidence rate in Spain has climbed above the “extreme risk” level at a time when the country is in the heart of its crucial summer tourist season.
The major Cabinet reshuffle is the first undertaken by Sanchez since his second government was formed in 2020 and marks the first changes since Salvador Illa resigned as health minister in January and Pablo Iglesias stepped down as deputy prime minister in March (and then later retired from active politics).
Government sources said the reshuffle was aimed at politically strengthening the executive branch before the next legislative session and comes after Sanchez pardoned nine Catalan politicians and activists jailed for their involvement in the illegal 2017 independence referendum and subsequent declaration of independence. EFE