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Friday
Jun082018

Spanish king swears in cabinet with majority of women

Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images(MADRID) -- The King of Spain, Felipe VI, swore in the new government of the 46-year-old prime minister, Pedro Sanchez -- including a majority of women.

The government of the self-proclaimed feminist new prime minister has an unprecedented distinction: 11 women in a cabinet of 17, including the most powerful ministers, such as education, economy, finance and defense.

On March 8, millions of Spanish women joined a strike asking for gender equality and denouncing sexual discrimination and harassment.

"This new government is unequivocally committed to equality. You have heard me saying that many times: Spain changed on March 8. There was a before and an after in our country with this feminist mobilization and the new government wants to reflect it," Sanchez said on Wednesday.

It definitely marks a contrast with the government of former Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, who got a vote of defiance after his conservative party, People's Party (Partido Popular), was embroiled in a corruption scandal. Under Rajoy's government, only five women served the country.

Nevertheless, the leader of the Spanish Worker's Party is already facing a challenge after taking office, as he only got 84 seats out of 350-seat Parliament. That means it will be difficult for his government to reform the country.

Mister Sanchez already promised to organize elections within two years.

Among these women, Carmen Calvo is becoming equality minister and Maria Jesus Montero will serve as a finance minister.

After a terrorist attack in Barcelona in 2017, Mister Sanchez decided to choose Dolores Delgado, a former anti-terror prosecutor, as minister of justice.

Meanwhile, Meritxell Batet is in charge of the administration of territory, including the conflicted region of Catalunya, which just regained administrative control after a new government took power last week.

Still, Mister Sanchez is opposed to a new independence referendum; instead, he said he is in favor of Catalonia and Basque Country to be considered as nations of Spain and not only regions.

Mister Sanchez described his government in a press conference on Wednesday as a feminist, progressive and pro-European.

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