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Thu. Apr 25th, 2024

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has appointed Carlos Cuerpo, the current head of the treasury, to assume the role of the new economy minister. The appointment follows the departure of Nadia Calvino, a prominent figure in the cabinet, who is set to lead the European Investment Bank.

Carlos Cuerpo, a graduate of the London School of Economics, pledged to sustain the fiscal responsibility initiated by his predecessor, vowing to “continue the downward path of the debt and deficit in a credible way.” The Spanish government aims to reduce the budget deficit to 3.0 percent of the GDP by 2024, aligning with EU regulations.

Although relatively unknown in Spain, Cuerpo collaborated closely with Nadia Calvino, who served as the economy minister since Sanchez assumed office in 2018. Calvino’s departure is perceived as a move to maintain stability in the markets, addressing concerns about the minority Socialist government’s reliance on far-left, Basque, and Catalan separatist parties for legislative support.

Calvino, known for her impactful tenure, recommended Cuerpo as her successor. Under her leadership, Spain’s economy witnessed robust growth, expanding by 5.8 percent last year, one of the fastest rates in Europe, following the pandemic-induced downturn.

Despite the positive economic outlook during Calvino’s term, the Bank of Spain has revised its growth projections for 2024. Anticipating a slowdown in private consumption, the bank forecasts a growth rate of 2.4 percent this year and a modest 1.6 percent in 2024, below its initial estimate of 1.8 percent.

Prime Minister Sanchez expressed confidence in Cuerpo’s ability to uphold the exceptional work of Calvino, stating that she had “set the bar high.” Additionally, Budget Minister Maria Jesus Montero, recognized for her brilliant performance, will assume the role of the first deputy premier, chairing cabinet meetings in Sanchez’s absence.

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