Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez on Friday appointed Carlos Cuerpo, who currently heads the treasury department, to be his new economy minister.
Cuerpo, who studied at the London School of Economics, will replace Nadia Calvino, who is leaving to head the European Investment Bank, the bloc’s lending arm whose significance has grown since war broke out in Ukraine.
Sanchez praised Cuerpo as an “honest professional” with “deep knowledge of public administration and economic policy”.
“His predecessor sets the bar very high, but I am convinced that Carlos Cuerpo will brilliantly give continuity and depth to the exceptional work done by Nadia Calvino,” the Socialist premier added in a televised address.
Little known in Spain, Cuerpo worked closely with Calvino, who previously worked in the European Commission’s budget department in Brussels before her political career began in 2018.
The new minister will have to deal with the phasing out of a series of inflation relief policies in the eurozone’s fourth-largest economy, including cuts to the value-added tax on electricity and subsidies for transportation, as growth slows.
The Bank of Spain recently lowered the country’s economic growth outlook for 2024, citing slowing private consumption even as it expected inflation to ebb more than predicted earlier.
It estimates growth will have slowed down to 2.4 percent from a post-pandemic rebound 5.8 percent in 2022, and will expand by just 1.6 percent in 2024, below the bank’s previous forecast of 1.8 percent.