MADRID — Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez reshuffled his Cabinet on Tuesday by appointing women to the top positions after one of his deputies left the left-wing coalition government to run in a regional election.
In a televised statement on Tuesday, Sánchez announced that he was elevating Economy Minister Nadia Calviño to the No. 3 Cabinet position to replace Pablo Iglesias, founder and leader of the far-left United We Can party. Calviño, who previously was fourth in the Cabinet ranking, now will hold the position one step below Deputy Prime Minister Carmen Calvo, Sánchez's long-time right-hand.
Labour Minister Yolanda Díaz, who many observers see as Iglesias' successor at the helm of the United We Can party, was appointed to Calviño's Cabinet seat, while Teresa Ribera, who is minister for Ecological Transition, will remain Sánchez's fourth deputy.
The prime minister described having four female deputies as a "historical" win. "All Spanish people can be proud to see that our country returns to be an international reference in rights and liberties," he said.
In announcing his resignation last month, Iglesias said he thought he would be "most useful" fighting right-of-center opponents in the Spanish capital than in his position as the second of four deputy prime ministers.
Iglesias, who more than one year ago pushed for Sánchez's Socialists to accept him and his party as part of the new coalition government, released a video statement Tuesday declaring that his party had succeeded in steering the coalition's policies toward helping Spain's most vulnerable people.
He said that was despite vested interests represented by "oligarchies that exercise an immense political, economic and media power."