Spanish new govt

King Felipe VI on Thursday swore in Spain’s new pro-EU government, with women holding the majority of ministerial posts.

Socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez named 11 women to top posts including defence and economy in a cabinet with six male ministers.

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That makes it the European government with the highest ratio of female cabinet ministers, ahead of Sweden’s, which has 12 women and 11 men.

Sanchez’s administration risks not lasting until the end of the current mandate in 2020, however, given the fragmented state of Spain’s political parties.

His Socialist Party holds just 84 seats in the 350-seat congress. That is the smallest parliamentary presence of any Spanish government since the return to democracy in the 1970s.

Sanchez, 46, ousted conservative veteran Mariano Rajoy as prime minister last Friday in a no-confidence vote.

The vote was sparked by corruption convictions against former officials from Rajoy’s Popular Party (PP).

It ended more than six years of PP government and ushered in a progressive administration under Sanchez.

The ministers at the swearing-in ceremony at the Zarzuela palace near Madrid broke with tradition by taking their oaths on the country’s constitution rather than the Bible.

They followed the example set by Sanchez, who became the first Spanish prime minister to forego religious symbols during his own swearing-in on Saturday.