Gonzalez Names New Ministers Following Phone-Tapping Scandal
MADRID, Spain (AP) _ A phone-tapping scandal that has seriously shaken the Socialist government prompted Prime Minister Felipe Gonzalez on Friday to appoint three new Cabinet ministers.
He accepted the resignations Wednesday of Narcis Serra as deputy prime minister and Julian Garcia Vargas as defense minister. They quit following revelations earlier this month that the CESID intelligence agency eavesdropped on many public figures during the 1980s, including King Juan Carlos.
Under the changes, Gustavo Suarez Pertierra will move from the education post to defense, Jeronimo Saavedra will leave public administration for education while Joan Lerma will take up his first ministerial post in public administration.
Government spokesman Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba said the position of deputy prime minister would be left vacant.
Addressing parliament Thursday, Gonzalez reiterated that his government was never aware of the alleged taps and never authorized them. He said the two ministers who resigned weren’t implicated, and implied that what happened was an isolated incident.
The scandal is the most serious to hit the Socialist government in its 13 years in office and comes just as Spain takes over the six-month presidency of the European Union on Saturday.