(dpa) - Spain's first female-dominated government was sworn in Monday, with nine female and eight male ministers promising loyalty to King Juan Carlos and to the constitution at the Zarzuela royal palace.
Copies of the constitution and of the Bible were on the table in front of which the ministers made the promise - a formula they had chosen instead of an oath - in the presence of the king and Queen Sofia.
The government was the second under Socialist Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero after he took his second consecutive victory in the legislative elections a month ago.
The nine women in the cabinet include Deputy Prime Minister Maria Teresa Fernandez de la Vega, Spain's most powerful politician after Zapatero; Carme Chacon, Spain's first female defence minister; and Bibiana Aido, who heads the new Equality Ministry.
The new government intended to inject 10 billion euros (15.7 billion dollars) into the economy to soften a deepening economic downturn, Economics Minister Pedro Solbes announced over the week- end.
The money was to be used for tax cuts, companies, to increase financial liquidity and for building subsidized housing. A meltdown in Spain's formerly overheated construction sector is expected to kill hundreds of thousands of jobs.