‘This is a women’s century,’ Spanish opposition tells Berlusconi

April 16th, 2008 - 8:18 pm ICT by admin  

Madrid, April 16 (DPA) Madrid regional Prime Minister Esperanza Aguirre, one of the leading politicians in Spain’s conservative opposition, Wednesday joined the governing Socialists in hitting back at Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, who called female-dominated Spanish cabinet “too pink”. “This is the century of women,” Aguirre said when questioned about the remarks of the newly elected Italian prime minister, who said it was not easy to find women qualified for government.

Appointing nine female ministers, in addition to eight male ones, was “one of the best things” that Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero had done, Aguirre said of her political opponent.

Infrastructure Minister Magdalena Alvarez described Berlusconi’s remarks as “absolutely inappropriate” and as an “offence” to citizens.

“Many of us women would never belong to a government headed by Mr Berlusconi,” she fumed.

Zapatero’s Socialist Party earlier advised Berlusconi to follow Spain’s example and to appoint more women in his cabinet.

Esperanza Aguirre is regarded as the main candidate to succeed conservative opposition leader Mariano Rajoy should he be replaced in the future.

Zapatero’s deputy Maria Teresa Fernandez de la Vega is a woman, but men hold most of the other heavyweight portfolios in the new government that began work this week.

Zapatero was returned to power for a second term March 9.

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