IN DEPTH: How Pedro Sanchez’ government is shaping up

 SPAIN’S new Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has now finished making appointments to his Council of Ministers, with more women given cabinet briefs than ever before.

Sources close to Sanchez claimed he has ruled out a snap election meaning his left-leaning Partido Socialista (PSOE) will have to work with other parliamentary parties to get legislation passed.

1 • Pedro Sanchez (PSOE)

President of the Government (Prime Minister)

Born: February 29, 1972 (46) in Madrid 

Previous work: Chief of staff to UN envoy in Bosnia, Economics Professor, Madrid City Council member, Congress Member. 

 2 • Carmen Calvo (PSOE)

Vice President of the Government, Minister of the Presidency, Government Relations and Equality (Deputy Prime Minister)

Born: June 9, 1957 (61) in Cabra, Andalucia

Previous work: Junta de Andalucia, Congress member, Minister of Culture.

 3 • Josep Borrell (PSOE)

Minister of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Co-operation

Born: April 24, 1947 (71) in La Pobla de Segur, Cataluña 

Previous work: Engineer, Academic, Congress Member, European Parliament Member, Civil Servant.

 4 • Dolores Delgado (Independent)

Minister of Justice

Born: November 9, 1962 (55) in Madrid

Previous work: Prosecutor in Spanish courts and the International Criminal Court.

 5 • Margarita Robles (Independent)

Minister of Defence

Born: November 10, 1956 (61) in Leon

Previous work: Judge, Civil Servant, Congress Member.

 6 • Maria Jesus Montero (PSOE)

Minister of the Treasury

Born: February 4, 1966 (52) in Sevilla

Previous work: Health Manager, Andalucian Parliament Member, Junta de Andalucia Minister.

 7 • Fernando Grande-Marlaska (Independent)

Minister of the Interior

Born: July 26, 1962 (55) in Bilbao

Previous work: Police officer, Magistrate, Judge.

 8 • Jose Luis Abalos (PSOE)

Minister of Public Works

Born: December 9, 1959 (58) in Torrent, Valencia

Previous work: Teacher, Councillor, PSOE official, Corts Valencianes member, Congress Member.

 9 • Isabel Celaa (PSOE)

Minister of Education, Spokesperson of the Government

Born: May 23, 1949 (69) in Bilbao

Previous work: PSOE official, Basque Parliament Member, Basque Government Minister.

 10 • Magdalena Valerio (PSOE)

Minister of Labour, Migration and Welfare

Born: September 27, 1959 (58) in Torremocha, Extremadura

Previous work: Civil Servant and Councillor in Guadalajara, PSOE official, Congress Member.

 11 • Reyes Maroto (PSOE)

Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism

Born: December 19, 1973 (44), Medina del Campo, Castilla y Leon

Previous work: Academic, Madrid Assembly Member.

 12 • Luis Planas (PSOE)

Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food

Born: November 20, 1952 (65) in Valencia

Previous work: Labour inspector, Cordoba Assembly Member, European Parliament Member, Junta de Andalucia Member and Minister, Ambassador to Morocco.

 13 • Meritxell Batet (PSOE)

Minister of the Territories

Born: March 19, 1973 (45) in Barcelona

Previous work: Academic, PSOE official.

 14 • Teresa Ribera (PSOE)

Minister of the Environment

Born: May 19, 1969 (49) in Madrid

Previous work: Academic, Civil Servant, NGO and UN Advisor.

 15 • Maxim Huerta (Independent) Resigned yesterday (Wednesday)

Minister of Culture and Sports

Replaced by Jose Guirao (Independent) after it was revealed he paid fines for tax fraud.

 16 • Nadia Calviño (Independent) 

Minister of the Economy and Enterprise

Born: October 3, 1968 (49) in La Coruna

Previous work: Civil Servant, European Union Budget Director.

 17 • Carmen Monton (PSOE)

Minister of Health, Consumption and Social Welfare

Born: March 9, 1976 (42) in Burjassot, Valencia

Previous work: Burjassot Councillor, Congress Member.

 18 • Pedro Duque (Independent)

Minister of Science, Innovation and Universities

Born: March 14, 1963 (55) in Madrid

Previous work: Astronaut, Academic, Company Chair.

Congress and the Senate

THE PSOE currently has 84 seats in the 350-strong Congress of Deputies and 62 members out of 266 in the Senate. Sanchez struck an agreement with smaller parties such as the far left Podemos and Basque and Catalan nationalists to unseat Rajoy. He will need their support to get laws passed until another election is held, due on or before July 2020.

Congress of Deputies

THE Congress of Deputies (Congreso de los Diputados in Spanish) is the lower house of Spain’s Parliament, the Cortes Generales. Deputies cover some 52 multi-member constituencies and are elected to serve four year terms unless snap polls are called. The Plenary of the Congress refers to the meeting of all members for debates and votes. There are also Commissions made up of a smaller number of members to examine legislation and government policy.


THE Senate (Senado in Spanish) is the upper house of parliament. Senators represent each of Spain’s Autonomous Communities or regions, with larger provinces such as Andalucia having more members. A total of 208 of the members are elected to serve four year terms while a further 56 are appointed by regional assemblies. Senators are tasked with debating and voting on legislation, as well as approving some government appointments and members have the power to suspend regional governments.

Political parties

Partido Socialista (PSOE)

PRIME MINISTER Pedro Sanchez’s party the current ruling party of Spain. It is led by Sanchez and its name in English is the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party. The PSOE is the oldest political party currently active in Spain and it has enjoyed historic ties with the country’s trade unions. It is centre-left and progressive, with a liberal social outlook and a preference on higher public spending and for state intervention in the economy. 



PODEMOS translates as ‘We Can’ in English and the party was founded following protests against inequality and corruption. It is headed by Pablo Iglesias, a left-wing academic, and is currently a part of a broader coalition of far-left parties in Parliament known as Unidos Podemos. They have a liberal social outlook and economically they have proposed taking key industries into government ownership and providing citizens with a basic income. Unidos Podemos have 67 seats in the Congress and 20 seats in the Senate.



CIUDADANOS, or Citizens in English, was formed in Cataluña in response to what they claim is the failure of Spain’s two main parties and the rise of Catalan nationalism. It is led by Albert Rivera and rose to become the largest party in the Catalan regional parliament following a snap election this year. They emphasise Spanish unionism, are socially liberal and promote business-friendly policies such as lowering corporation tax and cutting red tape. It has 32 seats in Congress and four in the Senate.


Partido Popular (PP)

THE party of former Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, the name of which means the People’s Party. Rajoy remains the caretaker leader of the party with a new leader due to be elected later this year. Its roots lie in the now defunct Alianz Popular, a conservative party founded by politicians sympathetic to dictator Francisco Franco. The modern day PP is socially conservative and prom
otes policies friendly to the Catholic Church, and it tends to favour less intervention in the economy. The PP has 134 seats in the Congress and 148 in the Senate.


Other parties

THERE are several smaller parties in the Spanish Parliament representing a variety of causes and interests. Many of these are part of what is known as the Mixed Group, Deputies and Senators in parties with too few seats to form official groupings. Most represent regions such as Cataluña, the Basque Country, Valencia and the Canary Islands. The regionalist party platforms vary from advocating for more autonomy in the Spanish system to outright independence.

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Written by

Joe Gerrard

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