A woman’s touch

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A drastic and urgent reshuffle in the Balearic government will see women outnumber men in the executive, after the first major crisis suffered by the ruling coalition. 

The Socialist and MES-led government was thrown into turmoil last week following the dramatic resignation of Transparency and Culture councillor Esperanca Camps. She was at the centre of a poisonous internal dispute and subject to increasingly vocal criticism from the opposition PP. 

On April 6 the new Socialist president of the Balearic Islands, Francina Armengol, announced the reshuffle in an urgent press release as her office scrambled to take back the driver’s seat before the situation spiralled out of control. 

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Ruth Mateu, the highly experienced and well regarded politician, is the new head of Participation, Transparency and Culture, while Pilar Costa is the new government spokeswoman and head of Presidential Management. 

In what has been viewed as a potent and intentional political statement, the appointment of the two means that women now outnumber men by six to five on the governing level. 

President Armengol has initiated far reaching changes since taking office in 2015 and has stated her desire to see the Balearics become a model for the rest of Spain. 

With a popular coalition government still enjoying its honeymoon period among the electorate, she has provoked the ire of the wider establishment, and the hotel industry in particular, with a wide range of social policies. 

The government has become far more muscular in its dealings with Madrid and has demanded more funding for Mallorca in particular. 

Immediately upon assuming office she revoked the controversial laws of her predecessor, which had been accused of systematically oppressing the Catalan language and identity of many Balearic citizens. 

With a modern, progressive and female led government in charge, the Balearic Islands are certainly in for an interesting future and a definite shake-up of the status-quo.

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