Spain’s leader Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero has replaced his right-hand woman in a major cabinet reshuffle.
Maria Teresa Fernandez de la Vega has lost her deputy prime minister’s post to Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba. He will combine the role with his job as interior minister, where success in the campaign against Basque separatists ETA has won him praise.
In further musical chairs, Health Minister Trinidad Jimenez replaces Miguel Angel Moratinos at Foreign Affairs.
The housing and equality ministries have been dissolved altogether with the focus firmly on tackling the economic crisis that has hit Spain hard. However Labour Minister Celestino Corbacho will not be helping to oversee austerity measures as he has been replaced.
Whether the changes will appease public opinion is far from sure. Last month unions called Spain’s first general strike in eight years against spending cuts and easier hire-and-fire laws enacted by the Socialist government.
Major cabinet reshuffle in Spain