Spanish lawmakers voted 180 to 169 to remove Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy, cutting short the second term of one of Europe’s longest-serving leaders currently in power.
The center-left Socialist Party spearheaded a no-confidence vote last week proposing to replace Rajoy.
Rajoy become the first prime minister in Spain’s democratic history to be ousted by parliament after losing the vote, as his administration remains engulfed in a massive corruption scandal.
Rajoy will be replaced by the Socialist opposition leader Pedro Sánchez.
The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss how Rajoy’s six year term as Spain’s prime minister, came to an abrupt end, and what this means for Spain, the EU, and the Catalan independence movement.
Quoted by the FT, in his brief final speech to parliament, Rajoy bade farewell to the country after seven years in power: “It has been an honour to leave Spain better than I found it. Thank you to all Spaniards and good luck.” The speech came after a last meal of sorts:
Mr Rajoy spent eight hours in a Madrid restaurant on Thursday afternoon instead of sitting through the first part of the parliamentary debate, but appeared composed on Friday during his resignation speech.
Zerohedge reports (https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-06-01/spanish-prime-minister-rajoy-ousted-power)…
Socialist Party leader Pedro Sánchez, who becomes prime minister immediately, told lawmakers that his policy goals include bolstering social policies to address problems such as unemployment and poverty levels, both of which remain high despite Spain’s strong growth. Among Sanchez’ challenges will be managing the eurozone’s fourth-largest economy and dealing with internal problems such as the crisis in Catalonia.
The new socialist prime minister will lead a weak minority government with just 84 seats in parliament, part of a coalition that includes a “hodgepodge” of different political parties, including the far-left Podemos group and a string of regional national parties including the Basque Nationalist party and two Catalan nationalist parties; this suggests a tumultuous time is in store for Spain both before and after the upcoming elections. Indeed, as the WSJ notes, the new premier’s minority government will struggle to pass legislation and has already promised to call parliamentary elections ahead of the current 2020 deadline.
The leader of the liberal Ciudadanos party, Albert Rivera, labelled this a “Frankenstein government” due to its lack of unifying views. The Catalans want full independence from Spain, for instance.
Rajoy’s ouster comes just as an antiestablishment government comes to power in Italy, now home to Western Europe’s largest anti-establishment movement, after a three-month power vacuum.