Spain's coalition government settles in as new 23-strong Cabinet holds its first meeting

The new line-up of ministers on Tuesday outside La Moncloa, the PM's official residence.
The new line-up of ministers on Tuesday outside La Moncloa, the PM's official residence. / EFE
  • Prime Minster Pedro Sánchez has promised that ministers will speak in unison and be progressive for the benefit of all Spaniards

The new government got to work this week with its first Cabinet meeting on Tuesday. Pedro Sánchez has moved the weekly meetings from Friday and his new-look team came together the day after being sworn in by King Felipe.

The fresh Cabinet, with 23 members, is one of the biggest in recent history to accommodate the coalition between Sánchez's PSOE and partners Unidas Podemos (UP). The PM has appointed four deputy prime ministers, up from two last time, including Pablo Iglesias, UP leader. Four former PSOE ministers left the Cabinet.

The overall government is seen as more solid and with more competence in Economics compared to the team from Sánchez's first period as PM in 2018. Commentators added that this is to counter any impression of being too radical now power is shared with left-wing UP and the fear of right-wing opposition parties gathering support.

There was speculation during Monday's ceremony over how new government members from UP, supporting a republic, would react to swearing allegiance to the monarch. Alberto Garzón, a local MP for Malaga province and now minister of Consumer Affairs, is known for only referring to the King as "Citizen Felipe of Bourbon". In the end, the ceremony passed without incidence apart from some missing neck ties.

Speaking on announcing the full details of his team, Pedro Sánchez laid out his vision for the coalition.

"The Government will speak with various voices but always with common words." He added that his government was going to be progressive for all Spaniards.