19 March 2008
MADRID – With the exception of a few key names, Socialist officials have so far remained quiet about who will constitute Zapatero’s second Cabinet.
The only two politicians who have been confirmed are María Teresa Fernández de la Vega, who will again take the post of deputy prime minister, and Pedro Solbes, who will continue on as economy minister – probably one of the toughest jobs in the new administration. Beyond those two, however, the remaining names and their portfolios have yet to be disclosed, although party sources say there are unlikely to be dramatic changes, especially in the more prominent posts. Miguel Ángel Moratinos is expected to stay on as foreign minister while Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba should keep the interior portfolio.
More doubts surround the continuity of Magdalena Álvarez at the helm of public works after her much-maligned handling of the construction of a high-speed rail link between Madrid and Barcelona last year, and Mariano Fernández Bermejo as justice minister because of his abrasive style, which may not suit the mood of the new legislature. It is also possible that two new ministries will be created, one to handle immigration policy and another for research and development.
[Copyright El Pais 2008]