Spain finds its comeback kid in new leader Pedro Sanchez

Socialist takes over as Spain’s prime minister after corruption scandal | TheHill

The leader of the Spanish Workers' Socialist Party took over as Spain's prime minister on Friday, after a no-confidence vote spurred by a corruption scandal ousted conservative leader Mariano Rajoy.

Sanchez has said that he hopes to govern until the conclusion of the parliamentary-term in 2020.

He said Mr Rajoy had failed to take responsibility for his party's involvement, which came to light last week after one of its former treasurers was given a 33-year jail sentence.

His strong pro-European credentials, and the fact that Rajoy also ran a minority government, suggest fallout from any political ructions is likely to be limited.

Madrid's stock exchange didn't appear anxious by Sanchez's rise to power, however, and it closed almost 1.8 per cent up from the previous day.

Sanchez, until now the head of Spain's largest opposition party, could be sworn in by King Felipe VI as early as Saturday and will appoint his Cabinet over the coming days. "We do not anticipate a substantial impact on the pace of growth".

Anti-establishment parties in Rome revived coalition plans on Thursday, ending three months of turmoil by announcing a government that promises to increase spending, challenge European Union fiscal rules and crack down on immigration.

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

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The fragmented parliament means he will also find it hard to row back on structural reforms passed by his predecessor, including new labour laws and cuts in healthcare and education.

Germany says it will offer the new Spanish government "close, trustful cooperation" that befits the friendship between the two countries.

Minutes after narrowly winning a no-confidence vote in parliament, the Socialist party leader signalled a change in tone and priorities from Rajoy's unbending commitment to reducing the national debt during his more than six years as prime minister.

Mr Sanchez seized his opportunity and managed to muster enough support from smaller parties to send him to La Moncloa palace, the seat of government in Madrid.

Spanish Congress has just conducted a historic no-confidence vote that has removed Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy from office.

The former economics professor regained the Socialist party leadership a year ago. Despite these failures, he was re-elected as party leader in 2017.

And it was another graft scandal that prompted the Socialists to table the no-confidence motion after a court said it had uncovered a vast system of bribes given to former PP officials in exchange for lucrative public contracts between 1999 and 2005. Even so, his vow to "get in my vehicle and visit every corner of Spain to win back" the party sounded quixotic given his scarce support among its higher echelons.

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