Pablo Casado has won the leadership of Spain’s conservative People’s Party with 57 to 42 percent support from party delegates.
Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría, the former deputy prime minister, was considered the establishment favorite. Her defeat signals a desire for a more right-wing program. Casado’s economic policy is more liberal and he takes a hard line against the Catalan independence movement. Read more
Everything You Need to Know About the Conservative Primary in Spain
The battle for the leadership of the Spanish right is now a two-person race: Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría and Pablo Casado have emerged from a poll of party members as the frontrunners.
Sáenz de Santamaría, the former deputy prime minister and a confidant of outgoing People’s Party leader Mariano Rajoy, won 37 percent support against 34 percent for Casado, an ambitious right-wing lawmaker and the party’s communications chief.
Former defense minister María Dolores de Cospedal placed third with 26 percent support. She is expected to throw her support behind Casado. Read more
Rajoy Steps Down as Party Leader. Here Are His Possible Successors
Mariano Rajoy has stepped down as leader of Spain’s center-right People’s Party.
Resignation was inevitable after Rajoy became the first prime minister in Spanish democratic history to be removed from office last week. The opposition Socialists cobbled together a majority consisting of left-wing and regionalist parties to end the conservative’s six-and-a-half year tenure. Read more
Spain’s conservative People’s Party is overreaching in its attempts to silence pro-independence voices in the Catalan media.
The party has reported a Catalan radio journalist, Mònica Terribas, to the Electoral Commission for the province of Barcelona for using the terms “imprisoned ministers” and “president-in-exile” in a broadcast.
The same commission earlier banned Catalan public television from using those phrases to refer to separatist leaders who have been taken into custody or fled to Belgium.
It also accepted a request from the People’s Party to stop the Barcelona city council from coloring buildings and fountains in yellow to indicate support for the restoration of home rule.
Xavier García Albiol, the Catalan People’s Party leader, has proposed to shut down the region’s public television station, TV3, and relaunch it with “normal and plural” journalists, by which he means journalists who oppose secession.
Esteban González Pons, a conservative Spanish member of the European Parliament, tells El País there may be a role for NATO in countering Russian “fake news” about the Catalan crisis. Read more
Parties Agree to Reduce Deficit, Raise Minimum Wage in Spain
Spain’s ruling conservative party announced a series of budget policies on Friday that are meant to placate the European Commission and expected to pass parliament with the support of the opposition Socialists.
Economy Minister Luis de Guindos told reporters the government that came to power in October had agreed to reduce the deficit by another €16 billion, mostly by raising taxes. The extra austerity measures should bring the shortfall down to 3.1 percent of gross domestic product in 2017.
Spain has consistently missed its fiscal targets since the start of the European debt crisis. The European Commission has always issued stern statements but never used its power to fine Madrid. Read more
Spain’s Socialists Agree to Give Rival Rajoy Second Term
Spanish Socialist Party leaders decided on Sunday to give conservative prime minister Mariano Rajoy a second term, ending ten months of political gridlock at the risk of growing their far-left competitors.
Rajoy has won two elections in a row since December but each time fell short of the required majority. In order to stay in power, he needed the Socialists — the second largest party — to abstain in a confidence vote. Read more