Andalusia's new chief gets rid of Griñán's economic team

Susana Díaz, who became premier last week, only kept a handful of current commissioners

Incoming Andalusia Socialist premier Susana Díaz replaced all economic members of her predecessor's cabinet team on Monday, including former premier José Antonio Griñán's top aides.

Díaz, who officially became premier last week, following Griñán's resignation, only kept on her team a handful of current commissioners, including three members of the United Left (IU) grouping, which formed a government coalition with Griñán after the last regional elections in March 2012.

Among those who were replaced are Antonio Ávila, who served as economic and labor commissioner and Carmen Martínez Aguayo, who was head of finance and public administration. Both officials had been appointed by Griñán when he became premier and worked with him while he was head of economic and finance departments under the previous Socialist government of Manuel Chaves.

José Sánchez Maldonado, who was a professor of public finances at the University of Málaga, will take over as economy commissioner while María Jesús Montero will head up finance.

The changes come at a critical time for the Andalusian government as a Seville judge continues her inquiry into fraud purportedly committed at a public subsidized layoff fund set up to help struggling industries pay out severance to workers. Several past officials, including a union leader, have been jailed pending trial.

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