Rajoy’s future in doubt as Spanish PM faces no-confidence debate


The future of the Spanish prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, is hanging in the balance as parliament has begun debating a motion of no-confidence tabled after his People’s party (PP) was found to have profited from a huge kickbacks-for-contracts scheme. A defiant Rajoy addressed MPs early on Thursday, accusing the opposition socialist party, PSOE, of opportunism and reminding it of its corruption scandals.

“With what moral authority are you speaking? Are you perhaps Mother Teresa of Calcutta?” he asked. “There have been corrupt people in the PP, but the PP is not a corrupt party.” The no-confidence vote, scheduled to take place on Friday, is likely to be very close. The socialists need the support of 176 of the 350 MPs in congress of deputies. The votes of the five MPs of the Basque Nationalist party (PNV) will prove decisive, with the party saying it would meet and hear what the PSOE leader, Pedro Sánchez, had to say before announcing its decision. Sánchez called for “democratic regeneration” as he sought the backing of MPs, saying: “Resign, Mr Rajoy. Your time is up.”(theguardian)…[+]