Minister at the Ministry of Employment and Social Security
María Fátima Báñez García (San Juan del Puerto, Huelva, 6 January 1967), better known as Fátima Báñez, is a Spanish politician, economist and lawyer. Since December 2011 she has been Minister of Employment and Social Security of the Spanish Government. On 22 December 2011, by decision of Mariano Rajoy, she became Minister of Employment and Social Security of the Government of Spain, replacing Valeriano Gómez. At the time when the ministerial portfolio takes over, unemployment is the first problem for Spaniards according to the Centro de Investigaciones Sociológicas. The number of unemployed in Spain reached 5,273,600; the number of households with all active members unemployed stood at 1,575,000; the unemployment rate in Spain was 22.85% and doubled the EU average rate; the youth unemployment rate was close to 50% (48.6%); employment destroyed in Spain since the fourth quarter of 2007 was 2,669,400 and the percentage of temporary workers in Spain reached 2,669,400. On Friday, February 10,2012, his Ministry launched the first labor reform of the Popular Party government. This reform won the support of the European Commission,? the Bank of Spain? and the OECD? but did not achieve the consensus of the trade unions. Báñez was open to dialogue at all times but confirmed that the basic lines of the labor reform would not be changed.? The most criticized point by the unions is the reduction of layoffs, since the compensation for unfair dismissal for indefinite contracts is reduced from 45 to 33 days per year worked, while compensation for objective layoffs is generalised to 20 days per year worked.? the mobilizations against labor reform.