MADRID | The new Spanish president Mariano Rajoy has announced the names of the 13 ministers who will make up his cabinet, the smallest in the history of democracy. The new government will have just one vice-presidency (the former Economy minister was also vice-president) that will be held by Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría, a 40-year old politician and the person known for being highly trusted by president Rajoy. Sáenz de Santamaría also will hold the position of spokeswoman and minister of the presidency.
The Centre of National Intelligence (known in Spanish as CNI), which has been always attached to the Ministry of Defence, is to be dissociated from this institution and to be put under the authority of the Minister of the Presidency, so that the country’s intelligence services will be commanded by the new vice-president as well.
On the other hand, the economy area has also been reorganised: economic affairs are to separate from fiscal policies. The Finance minister will be Luis de Guindos, a well known expert in financial markets who was Secretary of State for Economic Affairs in the former president Aznar’s government, as well as responsible of Lehman Brothers in Spain and Portugal from 2006 to 2008. De Guindos left his position at Lehman when the US parent company collapsed, even though the Spanish subsidiary still returned profits. The Treasury Secretary will be Cristóbal Montoro, who already took this position in Aznar’s cabinet.
There are other Rajoy’s goverment members who also were ministers in previous People Party’s terms. They are Ana Pastor, who then hold the Health ministry, while now she has been assigned to Development, and Miguel Arias Cañete, returning to the restored Ministry of Agriculture. The new minister of Justice will be Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón, who has been Madrid mayor during the last eight years.
According to El País, the Spanish daily with the highest circulation,
“the main features of the new goverment is not the reduction of departments, which is minimal compared to what it was expected, but the attempt to restore a classical structure able to approach the diverse management areas”. The newspaper considers separating economic from fiscal affairs as “a wise move […] The economic crisis has been one of the reasons that advised this decision, in order to underline the importance of approaching an economic strategy as a whole, in which the fiscal policy would be just one part.” The article points out that the new government is completely made up by very near people to the president Rajoy.
The complete list of new Spain’s ministers, as well as their CV can be visited in different media web pages.