has put an end to 10 months of political deadlock, with lawmakers voting to put the acting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s conservative Popular Party (PP) back into power.
On Saturday, MPs voted 170 for Rajoy and 111 against, while 68 members of the Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE) abstained.
After Rajoy won the parliamentary confidence vote, he vowed to carry on with his economic policies, despite heavy criticism from opposition groups who blame his austerity measures for deepening inequalities in the country.
“I am now simply committed to defending the general interest, being aware of the difficulties many people are still experiencing. I think we are a great nation and a great country and I hope this does not remain as simply an investiture session but that we are able to govern and work together, like in other European countries where nobody has a majority,” he said.
“Our commitments with Europe
and the world must be maintained because, I insist, it’s not a matter of the government, but of Spain. It’s not related to any party but to Spain and everyone must understand it as such,” he added.
Rajoy only won thanks to the Socialists’ abstaining. Last week, they decided to stand aside and lift their long-standing veto against the conservatives, paving the way for them to form their minority government.
Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE) leader Pedro Sanchez leaves after a press conference at the PSOE headquarters in Madrid following his resignation as party head during an extraordinary meeting of the PSOE Federal Committee on October 1, 2016. (Photo by AFP)
The move came after Pedro Sánchez, the then leader of the Socialists, resigned on October 1, after losing a party vote. He had been heading a long-running standoff with Rajoy’s party and was particularly blamed for the 10-month impasse that paralyzed institutions and threatened to derail Spain’s economic recovery.