Mariano Rajoy

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Scandal Results in Unprecedented Move in Spain

Prime minister is ousted, a first in 40 years of democracy there

(Newser) - Socialist party leader Pedro Sanchez is set to become Spain's new prime minister after a no-confidence vote Friday saw the first ouster of a serving leader by parliament in four decades of democracy and brought a rare success for a center-left party in Europe in recent times. Conservative Mariano... More »

Spain Wanted a Yes or No From Catalonia, Got a Letter

Catalan President Carles Puigdemont does provide the answer Spain sought

(Newser) - A Monday morning deadline came and went without the president of the Catalonia region clarifying whether he had declared independence from Spain. The Spanish government says he now has until Thursday to either say he didn't declare independence or to show he's taking action to cancel the declaration... More »

Thousands Rally in Barcelona— Against Secession

As Spanish PM says he'll stop separatists by any legal means necessary

(Newser) - Thousands of people are rallying Sunday in downtown Barcelona to protest the Catalan government's push for secession from the rest of Spain. Many in the crowd gathered in a central square carried Spanish and Catalan flags. Some chanted "Don't be fooled, Catalonia is Spain" and called for... More »

Spain's Worst Political Crisis in Decades Just Got More Heated

Top court orders Catalonia's parliament to suspend a planned session

(Newser) - Spain's Constitutional Court has ordered Catalonia's parliament to suspend a planned session next week during which separatist lawmakers wanted to declare independence —further fueling Spain's worst political crisis in decades. Catalan regional authorities have ignored previous Constitutional Court orders, so it wasn't immediately clear if... More »

What Could Happen If Catalonia Declares Independence

Madrid might declare a state of siege

(Newser) - Catalonia, one of Spain's autonomous regions, is threatening to declare its independence from Madrid following a disputed referendum that, it says, gave it a mandate to break away. Spain, which declared the referendum illegal and invalid, says it will do all it can to maintain the country's unity... More »

Spain PM Gets Punched in Face by a Teen

Youth arrested after attack during campaign event

(Newser) - Spain's prime minister was punched in the face by a teenager too young to vote as he strolled through a Galician town for a campaign event. The 17-year-old, who was arrested soon after punching Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, told police he was happy he had done it, reports BuzzFeed... More »

Catalonia Defies Spain, Approves Secession Plan

Regional parliament sets up road map to break away from central government

(Newser) - The regional parliament of northeastern Catalonia approved a plan Monday to set up a road map for independence from Spain by 2017, in defiance of the central government. The Barcelona-based chamber passed the motion by 72 votes to 63. The proposal was tabled by pro-secession lawmakers from the Together for... More »

Catalonia's Quest for Independence Hits Roadblock

Court suspends vote as Spanish PM rejects it

(Newser) - This weekend, the leader of Spain's Catalonia region officially approved a vote on independence Nov. 9—but the Spanish government has quickly come down against it. Today, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said the referendum, at odds with the country's constitution, couldn't be held, the New York Times... More »

Spain to Restrict Abortions

It would be the first EU nation to reverse the trend toward legalization

(Newser) - Spain is poised to defy the trend in Europe and impose tough restrictions on abortion, reports Reuters . Women currently can get an abortion on request during the first 14 weeks of pregnancy, but the proposed law would allow the procedure only in the case of rape, serious risk to the... More »

Huge March in Spain Protests Austerity Cuts

Thousands gather near Parliament

(Newser) - Protesters in Spain enraged with austerity cutbacks and tax hikes clashed with police near Parliament today. More than 1,000 riot police blocked off access to the Parliament building in the heart of Madrid, forcing most protesters to crowd nearby avenues and shutting down traffic at the height of the... More »

Spain's 'Robin Hood' Mayor Raids ... Supermarkets

Sánchez Gordillo urges local pols to ignore gov't austerity measures

(Newser) - He's being called both Robin Hood and the Sheriff of Nottingham. First Juan Manuel Sánchez Gordillo, mayor of the town of Marinaleda ( population 2,645) in southwestern Spain, led seven followers in a raid of two local supermarkets last week, stealing food and distributing it to local... More »

Spain Rolls Out Painful New Austerity Measures

Taxes raised, benefits cut

(Newser) - Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy today announced tough new austerity measures that will reduce the country's budget deficit by $80 billion over the next two and a half years. Spain has been having a tough time meeting agreed-upon deficit targets, the New York Times reports, but yesterday eurozone finance... More »

Merkel Softens Her Opposition to Stimulus

Germany, France, others agree to push for $163B growth package

(Newser) - The leaders of France, Germany, Italy, and Spain agreed to push for a growth package worth up to $163 billion at a European Union summit next week aimed at kickstarting the economy and safeguarding the currency bloc. French President Francois Hollande, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy,... More »

As Thousands Protest, Spanish PM Backs Austerity

'This is about solving the situation once and for all,' says Mariano Rajoy

(Newser) - Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy today defended his government's harsh austerity measures aimed at correcting Spain's grim economic forecast, one day after tens of thousands of Spaniards took to the streets in protest of his handling of the country's worst crisis in decades. Rajoy said the measures were... More »

Spain Sinks Back Into Recession

Unemployment tops 24%, officials committed to further cuts

(Newser) - Hot on the heels of Britain's slide back into recession , now Spain is officially in its second recession in three years, reports the BBC . Spain's National Statistical Institute said the economy shrank 0.3% last quarter, following a 0.3% contraction in the fourth quarter of 2011. As... More »

Strike, Protests Paralyze Spain

Millions protest austerity drive, labor laws changes

(Newser) - Spain's leaders insist that the country will not become the next Greece, although yesterday's events certainly looked familiar to residents of Athens. Police clashed with demonstrators who torched trash bins and cars in Barcelona amid a nationwide general strike called by unions in response to labor law changes... More »

Spain Kisses Off Socialists, Elects Right Majority

Conservatives return to power for first time since 2004

(Newser) - Spain's conservatives won a decisive victory yesterday, grabbing a clear majority of the parliament and returning to power for the first time since losing to the socialists in 2004, reports the Washington Post . The People's Party won 186 of 350 seats in the lower house, giving it the... More »

Spain Divided Ahead of Big Vote

Nasty campaign will weigh in on Zapatero era

(Newser) - Spaniards are bitterly divided between the ruling Socialist Party and right-wing Popular Party as they head for the polls tomorrow, the Washington Post reports. Polls do not predict a majority for Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero's socialists or the Mariano Rajoy-led Popular Party, but much will depend on the... More »

Economy Overshadows Spanish Vote

PM in race to wire as unemployment climbs; voting is Sunday

(Newser) - Spain goes to the polls Sunday after a bitter campaign in which the prime minister and his rival have traded insults and accusations of lying. Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero has maintained his slight lead and did well in this week's debate, but a raft of bad economic... More »

Spanish Voters Hit YouTube

Hundreds query candidates, but site's influence still uncertain

(Newser) - It's not only in the US that Internet video is changing politics: Ahead of Spain's neck-and-neck March 9 election hundreds of voters have posted questions for Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero and his opponent on YouTube. Zapatero has responded to several, Reuters reports, but the more strident—such... More »

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