Socialists prepare for power as Spanish government set to collapse

Spain politics crisis

Spain politics crisis

After the vote, Sanchez is expected to be sworn at the weekend and his cabinet appointed next week.

Spain's new Prime Minister-elect Pedro Sanchez stands in the Spanish parliament after Friday's no-confidence vote.

Sanchez, 46, takes the helm of the 19-country eurozone's fourth-largest economy at a time when the European Union has to resolve numerous problems, including the United Kingdom's departure from the bloc and political tension over migrants continuing to enter the continent from North Africa.

He also said Mr Sanchez was being a "parasite" by using weak alliances with anti-establishment, far-left and nationalist political groups in the Basque and Catalan regions to stage a power grab.

Fresh elections were called in June 2016 and the Socialist party registered its worst result since Spain transitioned to democracy after the death of dictator Francisco Franco in 1975.

Rajoy has already warned of the "political instability" a Sanchez-led government would suffer.

Following the vote, Rajoy went over to Sanchez in the chamber and shook the incoming leader's hand.

Sanchez has pledged to hold elections at an unspecified future date, but in the meantime the Catalan crisis will surely be near the top of the interim leader's to-do list.

The new prime minister, Pedro Sánchez, the leader of the Socialists, was forced to rely on these nontraditional, corruption-fighting parties to oust Rajoy.

Born in 1955 in Santiago de Compostela in the conservative northwestern Galicia region, Rajoy is the eldest son of a provincial court president.


"The PP has had corrupt people, I acknowledge it, but the PP is not a corrupt party", he said.

Antonio Barroso, deputy director of research at Teneo Intelligence said the new premier would likely "try to pass some policy initiatives to prop up support" for his Socialist party.

Satirists like to mock his infamous truisms - Spain "is a great country full of Spanish people" was one such declaration in 2015 - and while his talent does not lie in speech-making, he often shines in parliament with his witty repartee.

Spain's King Felipe VI speaks with the Speaker of the Spanish Parliament, Ana Pastor, at the Zarzuela Palace on Friday.

To prevent a power vacuum after a no-confidence motion that saw Mariano Rajoy ousted, Spanish law makes the motion's author - in this case, Sanchez - the country's new leader as soon as the king swears him in.

Rajoy, who did not attend the afternoon session of the debate on Thursday, ruled out resigning before the vote in a move that would have slowed down the transition.

Sanchez said on Thursday he would stick to the budget put forward by Rajoy and approved by parliament last month if voted into power.

According to local media, Sanchez said he would be aware of the responsibility he has and that he would face the challenges ahead with determination.

Once he negotiated the support of several smaller parties, including Basque and Catalan nationalist groups, he had momentum for the no-confidence vote.

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