Socialist Party Leader Sworn In As Spain's New Prime Minister

04 June, 2018, 14:47 | Author: Rachel Logan
  • Socialist takes over as Spain’s prime minister after corruption scandal | TheHill

Unlike the new populist government in Italy, Sanchez and his party are staunch supporters of the European Union and its shared euro currency.

Rajoy's hours in office appeared numbered on Thursday after a Basque political party said it would back the no-confidence vote brought over a corruption case, paving the way for Socialist leader Pedro Sanchez to take power. A new fiscal policy and the extension of welfare rights are also part of his agenda within the PSOE.Academic and politician - The 46-year-old leader of the second-biggest party after Rajoy's conservatives first joined the PSOE in 1993, worked as a political adviser in the European Parliament and at the United Nations during the Kosovo war.

His arrival at the prime minister's office represents an astounding comeback for the man who led the Socialists to two crushing general election defeats - in 2015 and 2016 - and was forced out by the party apparatus.

Pedro Sanchez won the no-confidence motion with 180 votes in favor, 169 against and one abstention, according to the Associated Press.

"Our "yes" to Sanchez is a "no" to Rajoy", Mr Tarda said. But the hard-left party seems unlikely to gain major influence over Sanchez, who is keen to win back centrist voters.

Mr Sanchez, however, refused to go quietly.

Ciudadanos leader Albert Rivera, whose center-right party is leading recent polls, formally announced his lawmakers would vote against the motion on Friday.

But Mr Sanchez, 46, embraced the role of underdog and tapped into the anger of rank-and-file members who felt that he had been unfairly dumped by the party elite.

Prime Minister-elect Pedro Sanchez is vowing to address the "social urgencies" of Spaniards after years of austerity under the conservative government of Mariano Rajoy.

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Rajoy was defiant. "Why should I have to resign, if for now I still have the trust of the house, and the trust awarded to me at the ballot boxes?"

Sanchez plans to see out the remaining two years of the parliamentary term. That ruling spelled the end of Rajoy's rule, and Sanchez was keen to portray himself as a fresh start.

Rajoy's position has become increasingly untenable, undermined by his status as head of a corruption-tinged minority government as well as a divisive independence drive in the wealthy region of Catalonia.

Sanchez saw that as his opening and managed to muster enough support from smaller parties to send him to La Moncloa palace, the seat of government in Madrid.

A Spanish court dealt a huge setback to the Popular Party last week, putting Rajoy under the microscope. A tough path lies ahead for his minority government, however.

Mr Sanchez may also pay a heavy price for taking down Mr Rajoy.

In order to cobble together the support to cast out Rajoy, Sanchez promised to open talks with Torra in order to get the votes he needed from the Catalan pro-secession lawmakers in the national parliament.

Madrid fired Catalonia's government and took control of the running of the region after an illegal and unsuccessful declaration of independence by the Catalan parliament in October.

An economist by education, Mr Sanchez was chief of cabinet to the United Nations envoy to Bosnia, Carlos Westendorp, in the late 1990s.



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