Monday

21st May 2018

Spain's Rajoy warns of minority rule

Spain's acting prime minister Mariano Rajoy said he accepted a mandate from king Felipe VI to form a new government, but warned he may fail.

Rajoy will open a new round of talks with other parties and try to convince them to vote for a conservative-led government to break the seven month deadlock since the December elections and a second inconclusive ballot in June.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

Earlier negotiations and discussions on Thursday (28 July) failed to produce enough support for his conservative Popular Party (PP), which has 137 seats in parliament where 176 is needed for a majority.

"Spain needs a government now. I will try to form this government, but not everything depends on me," Rajoy said at a news conference on Thursday after meeting the king.

He argued that there was no alternative to a PP-led government. The party lost its absolute majority in the 20 December elections, and has not won the backing of the other main parties since then to form a government. It is an impasse that has left the country in a political turmoil.

"We want to change Rajoy's government and this is why we will vote no in a confidence vote," Socialist leader Pedro Sanchez said, whose party finished second at the ballot boxes.

Left-wing Unidos Podemos ("Together We Can") also reiterated after talks with the king that they would oppose Rajoy.

Ciudadanos (Citizens), a centrist-liberal party, which finished fourth, ruled out support for a second Rajoy government, but would abstain instead.

Rajoy has not yet revealed when he plans to hold a confidence vote.

But without backing from the Socialists, Rajoy would find it almost impossible to secure a majority for a second term.

Rajoy said in that case he would seek to run a minority government, which would require the Socialists to abstain in the confidence vote. PP was the only party in the June elections which won more seats than in December.

But a minority government rule would slow down lawmaking as each bill would have to be negotiated to secure enough support.

Time is pressing as Spain needs to pass next year's budget by October and send it to the EU Commission.

Spain avoided sanctions earlier this week for failing to bring down its budget deficit to under 3 percent as required by EU rules.

Poll: Third Spanish election won't end limbo

Spain’s Socialist Party was seen as the only gainer from a potential third election – but a return to the ballot box would produce another fragmented parliament, a closely watched opinion poll showed on Monday.

Opinion

Linking EU funds to 'rule of law' is innovative - but vague

Defining what constitutes 'rule of law' violations may be more difficult than the EU Commission proposes, as it tries to link cohesion funds in east Europe to judicial independence. A key question will be who is to 'judge' those judges?

Opinion

Europe's budget stasis

The EU's budgetary muddling through might not be enough when the next crisis hits.

News in Brief

  1. Trump warns Nato allies' low budgets will be 'dealt with'
  2. Only Estonia, Greece and UK hit Nato spending target
  3. EU to start process to counter US Iran sanctions
  4. Macedonia PM sees 'possible solutions' in Greek name row
  5. EU takes six countries to court over air pollution
  6. New Catalan leader sworn in without reference to Spain
  7. Merkel and Putin revive dialogue in troubled times
  8. European companies putting Iran business on hold

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersOECD Report: Gender Equality Boosts GDP Growth in Nordic Region
  2. Centre Maurits Coppieters“Peace and reconciliation is a process that takes decades” Dr. Anthony Soares on #Brexit and Northern Ireland
  3. Mission of China to the EUMEPs Positive on China’s New Measures of Opening Up
  4. Macedonian Human Rights MovementOld White Men are Destroying Macedonia by Romanticizing Greece
  5. Counter BalanceControversial EIB-Backed Project Under Fire at European Parliament
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersIncome Inequality Increasing in Nordic Countries
  7. European Jewish CongressEU Leaders to Cease Contact with Mahmoud Abbas Until He Apologizes for Antisemitic Comments
  8. International Partnership for Human RightsAnnual Report celebrates organization’s tenth anniversary
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Cooperation Needed on Green Exports and Funding
  10. Mission of China to the EUPremier Li Confirms China Will Continue to Open Up
  11. European Jewish CongressCalls on Brussels University to Revoke Decision to Honour Ken Loach
  12. Sustainable Energy Week 2018"Lead the Clean Energy Transition"- Register and Join Us in Brussels from 5 to 7 May

Latest News

  1. Athens mayor wants direct access to EU migration fund
  2. Nordics could be first carbon-negative region in world
  3. Zuckerberg and Trump top the EU's agenda This WEEK
  4. Integration of Syrian refugees in Europe needs scrutiny
  5. Bulgarian PM: No asylum reform without stronger border
  6. Eight countries to miss EU data protection deadline
  7. Italian populists to defy EU debt rules
  8. Commission 'playing tricks' with EU budget figures