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Institutional statement by President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, to outline the composition and goals of new government

Sunday 12 January 2020

PEDRO SÁNCHEZ, President of the Government.

Good afternoon. First of all, I would like to thank all the media for attending this press briefing.

As I had announced to you over the weekend, I have just conveyed to the Head of State, to His Majesty the King, the list of the names of the 22 ministers in the new government.

I would like this brief event to serve as the formal presentation of the new government in order to define its profile. Next Tuesday, as we also announced over the weekend, we will call the first Council of Ministers, following which I will appear before the media to give a press conference and provide more details on the executive plans of the new government.

But before starting, I would firstly like to express my profound and sincere gratitude to all the outgoing ministers in this new era. I believe that this is only fair because all of them have done an extraordinary job in my opinion. Each political era sees new circumstances and also requires new profiles and that is the only reason that explains the replacements that have been made and which you have become aware of in recent days. Each and every minister who leaves the government has my total and utter gratitude for having contributed with great loyalty to the project we embarked on a few months ago.

The new government also has the singular feature that you and the Spanish people are also aware of, which is that it is the first coalition government in the history of our democracy. Consequently, it will need to take a new path, which will also serve as a reference in the future and which puts Spanish politics on the same path as European politics whereby government majorities need to be forged through dialogue, understanding and also the co-existence of different political formations. This is a plural government, this is a coalition government, but with a firm aim to be united. This is a government that will be fuelled by plural ideas, but which will move in a single direction; it will speak with several voices, but always with the same words.

In my investiture speech, I referred to the five great transformations that Spanish society requires. Firstly, to bed down economic growth on much more productive foundations, such as science, innovation, research and the creation for quality jobs; secondly, territorial understanding and the demographic challenge; thirdly, social justice; fourthly, the digital transformation of our economy and the just ecological transition of our economy, and fifthly, the full equality of women.

The government has transferred these priorities to its composition: four vice-presidencies of the government will address the first four transformations. As regards the fifth, in relation to the full and effective equality of women, this permeates the integrity of the new government. Furthermore, and obviously since they have their own specific department, three of the four vice-presidencies of the government will be headed up by women; and half of the ministerial portfolios will be held by women. Consequently, Spain will never again return to be a country of women without a voice.

And in my investiture speech, I also highlighted the three main traits defining the government I sought to form. I said then that the government would be defined by its wholly progressive values; by an attitude of dialogue; and also by active, executive and decisive methodology.

This active, executive and decisive methodology is reflected in the number of portfolios which, including vice-presidencies of the government, rises from 17 to 22 and is also reflected in the personality of their ministers. This reflects the aim of building an executive government of action, with very specific, calculated powers, whereby the main priorities of Spain have a direct voice on the Council of Ministers.

That is why, for example, the Ministry of Work and Social Security has been split up, at a time when we firstly need to define a new labour framework for the economic reality of our country in the 21st Century while, at the same time, renewing the Toledo Pact - this major national agreement that not only sustains dignified pensions but also a public pension system in the short and medium term. Each of these tasks alone, as you can well imagine, is capable of absorbing the full attention of a member of the Government of Spain. Without further ado, I will outline the ministers and the portfolios of the new Government of Spain that you have become aware of in the media:

Vice-President of the Government and Minister for the Presidency, Parliamentary Relations and Democratic Memory, Carmen Calvo.

Vice-President of the Government and Minister for Social Rights and 2030 Agenda, Pablo Iglesias.

Vice-President of the Government and Minister for Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation, Nadia Calviño.

Vice-President of the Government and Minister for Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge, Teresa Ribera.

Government Spokesperson and Minister for the Treasury, María Jesús Montero.

Minister for Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation, Arancha González Laya.

Minister for Justice, Juan Carlos Campo.

Minister for Defence, Margarita Robles.

Minister for Home Affairs, Fernando Grande-Marlaska.

Minister for Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda, José Luis Ábalos.

Minister for Education and Vocational Training, Isabel Celaá.

Minister for Work and Social Economy, Yolanda Díaz.

Minister for Industry, Trade and Tourism, Reyes Maroto.

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Luis Planas.

Minister for Territorial Policy and Public Function, Carolina Darias.

Minister for Culture and Sport, José Manuel Rodríguez Uribes.

Minister for Health, Salvador Illa.

Minister for Science and Innovation, Pedro Duque.

Minister for Equality, Irene Montero.

Minister for Consumer Affairs, Alberto Garzón.

Minister for Inclusion, Social Security and Migration, José Luis Escrivá.

Minister for Universities, Manuel Castells.

As you can see, the members of the new government are highly professional and competent men and women. This is a government comprised of people with a long track-record that guarantees, in my opinion, their ability. And furthermore, they have profiles with extensive economic experience to tackle the economic challenges facing our country and its environment in the medium term. That is what corresponds to an active, executive and decisive government such as our country needs.

But the composition of the new government also responds to the progressive values that inspire its action. It is true that this is a broad and plural progressive approach in which several focuses exist side-by-side. There are members of the parties that make up this progressive coalition, but also members who are independent, of recognised prestige, who contribute value and experience to the team. They also connect, I believe, with a majority feeling of the Spanish people to include professionals who, with a track-record that backs them, put to one side their professional careers to serve their country, which I believe it is important to underline, as both the Socialist Party and Unidas Podemos do. And I believe that this is a tonic that Spanish politics should not lose in the future.

The composition of the government is as plural as the progressive majority that backs this government, and as the progressive social majority that this government also aspires to represent.

My closing words will be on the attitude that the government will maintain. I would also underline what I outlined in the investiture debate, that this will be the legislature of dialogue. This must be the legislature of dialogue - of social dialogue, of territorial dialogue and I would also say of generational dialogue.

Our citizens are calling for politicians to ensure a Spain of moderation, rather than confrontation, a Spain that builds bridges of collaboration and not a Spain of vetoes and breakdowns, of which there many been many in recent year. A Spain of co-existence and not a Spain or discord or over-excitement.

Our citizens are calling for a Spain founded on agreement rather than on insults and criticism.

In short, the coalition government of the Socialist Party and Unidas Podemos is now the progressive government of Spain; a progressive government born with a clear vocation to serve all the Spanish people because there is nothing more progressive than uniting Spain. It begins with the aim of using dialogue to resolve differences, because there is nothing more progressive than dialogue and it will act with an active and decisive spirit because there is nothing more progressive than making progress and setting our country in motion after so many months of deadlock. So that is what I wanted to mention at this press briefing and we will see each other again on Tuesday, following the Council of Ministers when I will take questions from the media.

Thank you very much.

(Transcript edited by the State Secretariat for Communication)

Non official translation