Spain: Zapatero shuffles cabinet to regain favour

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The Independent Online

Spain's Prime Minister, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, overhauled his cabinet yesterday, aiming to strengthen his unpopular government while battling to tame a massive public deficit and to revive a stagnant economy.

The Interior Minister, Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba, who has a high approval rating and is seen by some as a successor to Mr Zapatero, becomes the new Deputy Prime Minister.

Spaniards suffering budget cutbacks, salary reductions and the highest unemployment rate in the eurozone have punished the government, whose approval ratings have sunk below 30 per cent.