Spain's Socialist Party reveals members of new Cabinet | AP business

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Spain's new socialist prime minister Pedro Sanchez has appointed 11 women and 6 men to his cabinet.

"It's best for me, best for the party and best for Spain", Rajoy said to a standing ovation from party members.

Spain's new Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez named his cabinet yesterday, with women dominating the top posts for the first time in the country's history.

The PP government's budget proposal is likely to be the new minority administration's first substantial legislative challenge in the lower house of parliament, where it holds just 84 of the 350 seats.

"The reaction to the plan to appoint Borrell as foreign minister shows Sanchez is not willing to cut deals with the nationalists and will focus on what can appeal to both (market friendly) Ciudadanos and (anti-austerity) Podemos", Antonio Barroso, an analyst at Teneo Intelligence, said.

Mariano Rajoy, Spain's former premier whose government was toppled last week in a no-confidence vote, announced on Tuesday that he was also quitting his party's helm.

Mr Sanchez hailed his new government, which has the highest proportion of women in a current cabinet, as "unmistakably committed to equality".

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Each new minister vowed to "faithfully fulfil the duties of minister ... with loyalty to the king" at a ceremony at the Zarzuela palace near Madrid.

Numerous new ministers are drawn from outside politics, such as former astronaut Pedro Duque, who has been appointed minister of science, innovation and universities.

Fernando Grande-Marlaska, a former judge at Spain's top-level National Court, where he took on cases against Basque separatist group ETA, will head up the interior ministry.

Mr Sanchez drew from a wide range of professions, however, choosing an astronaut for science minister, a state attorney specialising in the prosecution of jihadist attacks for justice minister and a climate change treaty negotiator for environment minister.

Apart from Ms Calvino's appointment as economy minister - a move welcomed by the EU Commission - Josep Borrell was European parliament president between 2004 and 2007.

He must stay firm on his party's support for Spanish unity, enshrined in the country's constitution, yet open lines of communication to fix relations with the region's re-appointed government, which remains fiercely pro-independence.

Meritxell Batet, another Catalan, has been put in charge of relations with Spain's regions.

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