Wednesday

26th Jun 2019

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.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

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.

EU parliament gives extra time for leaders on top jobs

The EU parliament might allow an extra 24 hours for EU heads of government to first come up with the new EU leadership names. Meanwhile, EPP lead candidate Manfred Weber is meeting Angela Merkel and AKK in Berlin for backing.

News in Brief

  1. EU warns Turkey as 'Gezi Park' trials begin
  2. EU universities to share students, curricula
  3. Migrant rescue ship loses Human Rights Court appeal
  4. Denmark completes social democrat sweep of Nordics
  5. Johnson offers 'do or die' pledge on Brexit
  6. Weber indirectly attacks Macron in newspaper op-ed
  7. EU to sign free trade deal with Vietnam
  8. EU funding of air traffic control 'largely unnecessary'

Merkel and Macron split over Weber presidency

EU heads of government have their first face-to-faces discussions after the European elections on who should lead the EU commission. They are unlikely to decide quickly - with the parliament also divided over the candidates.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. International Partnership for Human RightsEU-Uzbekistan Human Rights Dialogue: EU to raise key fundamental rights issues
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNo evidence that social media are harmful to young people
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersCanada to host the joint Nordic cultural initiative 2021
  4. Vote for the EU Sutainable Energy AwardsCast your vote for your favourite EUSEW Award finalist. You choose the winner of 2019 Citizen’s Award.
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersEducation gets refugees into work
  6. Counter BalanceSign the petition to help reform the EU’s Bank
  7. UNICEFChild rights organisations encourage candidates for EU elections to become Child Rights Champions
  8. UNESDAUNESDA Outlines 2019-2024 Aspirations: Sustainability, Responsibility, Competitiveness
  9. Counter BalanceRecord citizens’ input to EU bank’s consultation calls on EIB to abandon fossil fuels
  10. International Partnership for Human RightsAnnual EU-Turkmenistan Human Rights Dialogue takes place in Ashgabat
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersNew campaign: spot, capture and share Traces of North
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersLeading Nordic candidates go head-to-head in EU election debate

Latest News

  1. EU moves to end car-testing 'confidentiality clause'
  2. EU parliament gives extra time for leaders on top jobs
  3. Europe's rights watchdog lifts Russia sanctions
  4. EU-Vietnam trade deal a bad day for workers' rights
  5. EU 'special envoy' going to US plan for Palestine
  6. Polish judicial reforms broke EU law, court says
  7. EU study: no evidence of 'East vs West' food discrimination
  8. Russia tried to stir up Irish troubles, US think tank says

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us