By Jason Moore

SPANISH Prime Minister Rodriguez Zapatero has received some praise for appointing a woman as Defence Minister; Carme Chacon is also heavily pregnant. It was a curious appointment and I would just like to know whether she was appointed simply because she was a woman or because she was the best person for the job? If it was Zapatero just trying to be modern and to show the Spanish military and the rest of the world that Spain is a changed country then I believe it was a stupid decision. At the moment Spain has troops stationed in some of the worst trouble spots in the world from Afghanistan to Lebanon and Kosovo. To give her credit Chacon has visited all these countries to meet Spanish troops stationed there. However, some sections of the Spanish media have questioned whether a heavily pregnant woman should be travelling to the world trouble-spots. This is just ridiculous; the people in danger are the troops on the ground and whether the Defence Minister is pregnant or not should not be an issue. Zapatero is having a rather easy time at the moment basically because the Partido Popular (the centre right opposition) is busy infighting at the moment. The election campaign was a stroll in the market. However, with plenty of uncertainty over the economy - and it should be just a matter of time because the opposition get their act together - there is plenty to do in the future. Has he got the right people in his cabinet? Only time will tell. Was he right to appoint Chacon as defence minister? We will have to see. One thing for sure his honeymoon period will soon end and he is going to need some first rate ministers.