Spain to have new cabinet by Mariano Rajoy after royal decree

October 25, 2016 8:00 pm

’s acting Prime Minister (Photo by AFP)

Spain’s acting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy says he has been tasked by the king to form a new government, the latest attempt to break a 10-month political deadlock in the European country and to bring the conservatives back to power.
Rajoy said on Tuesday that he had “accepted the task,” adding that he would now submit himself to a parliamentary vote of confidence, which is due this week.
The development came two days after Spain’s Socialists decided to stop opposing Rajoy and his Popular Party (PP) in the parliament and let the party govern alone. The PP won elections in June but did not have enough seats in the chamber to form a new cabinet. Rajoy has previously attempted to push a minority government but that ended in failure due to opposition from other parties.
However, the Socialists have decided to abstain in the next parliamentary bid by Rajoy, giving the 61-year-old enough traction to get through. They have said that they will vote against Rajoy in a first vote on Thursday but then they will abstain in the second and final vote, which is due on Saturday.
The royal decree means that Spain could spare a third election being triggered by an October 31 deadline. An announcement was expected later on Tuesday by the parliamentary speaker, Ana Pastor, which could indicate when the assembly will begin debating the vote. Based on a post-election protocol, Pastor had called two obligatory lower house debates before confidence votes.
Reports on Tuesday said, however, that the Socialists were not to give the incoming center-right government a free hand to pass legislation, meaning that a policy deadlock could persist.
“In no event do we plan on giving stability to Rajoy’s government or approving its budgets,” Javier Fernandez, the interim head of the Socialists, told reporters on Tuesday, adding that the PP should find support from other parties to pass its budgets.
Rajoy’s new administration would face a daunting task of saving up to five billion euros from cuts or revenues to meet a target set by the European Commission on Spain’s 2017 deficit.
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