Since Pedro Sánchez arrived in Moncloa in June 2018, 42 ministers have been part of his governments. But only six of them were with him in the first executive that came out after the motion of censure against Mariano Rajoy. Yesterday the President of the Spanish Government once again supported this group of loyalists by keeping them in their portfolios, and even promoting the head of the Treasury, María Jesús Montero, to one of the four vice-presidencies, which she will share with two more incombustibles: Nadia Calviño and Teresa Ribera. Rounding out the small team of irreducible Fernando Grande-Marlaska, Margarita Robles and Luis Planas; Ministers of the Interior, Defense and Agriculture, respectively.
José Manuel Alvares, who retains the portfolio of Foreign Affairs, is also part of this presidential core, although he arrived in the Spanish government in 2021 replacing Arancha González-Laya. Albares' connection with Sánchez goes back a long way, since in 2018 he was signed on as an adviser on international relations and was appointed secretary of International Affairs, European Union, G-20 and Global Security. He has been by his side since the very beginning.
Robles and Marlaska entered the political arena because Sánchez asked them to. Since then, they have remained faithful squires of the president, and he is their main advocate. When the attacks of the opposition - or of the previous purple wing of the government - were forceful, such as with the controversy over the tragic jump over the fence in Melilla or the espionage in the pro-independence world, the Spanish president has always supported them publicly The last time at the investiture session itself, when criticism of the latest police actions besieged Marlaska, Sánchez shouted in the chamber that Spain has "an extraordinary Minister of the Interior". Some understood in his words a farewell; nothing further from the truth.
In this legislature, Marlaska will become the longest serving Minister of the Interior. In front of him is the management of the tension in the streets, strengthening the fight against illegal immigration or appeasing some police unions on a war footing. He will soon have to decide whether to process the escort request requested by Carles Puigdemont. Sánchez's most criticized minister will also have as priorities the prevention and fight against gender violence and the reduction of road accidents.
For his part, Robles is expected to implement the increase in Defense spending. The entire Spanish military industry has its eyes on the rain of contracts that are expected to be fulfilled with NATO. No one doubts that he will continue to set his own profile, even if this costs him friction with his colleagues in the Government. His agenda will be marked by visits to military units.
The two magistrates will bet on a continuist list in their respective portfolios. Both, without a PSOE card, have withstood a thousand and one controversies: the Popular Party and Vox continue to consider Marlaska the "great traitor of the Spanish right", and pro-independence partners do not have good words for Robles. Very distant in the personal sphere, both are aware of the wear and tear these five years at the head of their departments have entailed. With more desire to close the stage than to continue it, the only thing that could make them change their minds was the call from the president. And the phone rang.