Mariano Rajoy, the Prime minister of Spain, whose Partido Popular (People’s Party) has been plagued by corruption scandals, is stepping down after losing a no-confidence vote. Socialist Party leader Pedro Sanchez will replace him.
The no-confidence motion was initiated by the opposition Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE) on Thursday and supported by Catalan parties and the leftist Podemos. With the centrist party Ciudadanos abstaining, Rajoy’s People’s Party (PP) and its allies was left at the mercy of the Basque Nationalist Party and its five crucial votes.
Earlier on Friday, Rajoy conceded defeat to PSOE leader Pedro Sanchez, who will now become prime minister.
Rajoy had refused to step down before the no-confidence vote, and has defended his party in the corruption scandal that has now proven to be his downfall. Last week, dozens of former PP officials were jailed for money laundering and fraud, and the party fined €240,000 over a kickbacks-for-contracts scheme they ran between 1999 and 2006.
MADRID The Spanish government has agreed with the opposition Socialists (PSOE) to hold regional elections in January in Catalonia as part of the extraordinary package of measures to temporarily impose direct rule on the region, Socialist politician Carmen Calvo said in an interview on national television.
With snap elections Prime minister Mariano Rajoy government attempts to quell general public discontent in the EU with more sophisticated ways to resolve Catalan minority crisis than his previous methods with application of police baton.