Sanchez sworn in as spain’s head of government by the king

Sanchez sworn in as spain's head of government by the king

After months of confrontation between the spanish central government and catalan separatists, new governments took office almost simultaneously in madrid and barcelona on saturday.

Socialist leader pedro sanchez was replaced this morning by king felipe VI. Sworn in as new prime minister of eurozone’s fourth-largest economy. The 46-year-old took the oath of office in the presence of his predecessor, mariano rajoy, at the zarzuela palace on the outskirts of madrid. Only an hour later, the new catalan regional leader quim torra took the oath of office with his cabinet in the government palace in barcelona.

A solution to the catalonia crisis is considered one of the most important tasks of the new spanish leadership. Sanchez is planning to meet with torra soon to discuss the possibility of opening a dialogue, spanish media reported. Torra also stressed in a speech that he wanted to start talking to madrid immediately: "president pedro sanchez, let’s talk, let’s be reasonable, let’s take risks, let’s sit down at the same table and negotiate government to government."

The swearing-in ceremony in catalonia automatically ended the forced administration under which the rajoy government had placed the region in the fall – at that time still with the support of the socialists – in response to the banned independence referendum of october 2017. The separatists again emerged victorious from a new election in december.

However, the formation of the government has been delayed again and again and in the end took more than five months. On several occasions, the separatist forces had put forward candidates for the office of regional chief and later minister who were either in pre-trial detention or had fled from justice abroad. Madrid had categorically rejected these applicants, including ex-regional president carles puigdemont, who continues to reside in germany.

According to the will of the schleswig-holstein attorney general’s office, he is to be extradited to spain. It was unknown when the higher regional court (OLG) in schleswig will make its decision. Puigdemont and the other politicians face long prison sentences in spain on charges of rebellion and misappropriation of public funds. However, torra, who was elected regional president in mid-may, has already made it clear that he intends to press ahead with the secession of catalonia.

Pedro sanchez is spain’s seventh prime minister since the end of the franco dictatorship in 1975 – and the first to come to power through a constructive vote of no confidence and without a parliamentary election.

For the first time in the history of spain, a minister-president renounced bible and crucifix at his swearing-in ceremony and swore only on the constitution. King felipe himself had opened up this possibility in 2014 in order to do justice to the freedom of religion enshrined in the constitution.

Sanchez introduced a motion of censure against rajoy at the end of last week after his conservative people’s party (PP) was fined in a corruption affair by the national criminal court and several former PP members were sentenced to prison terms, some of them for many years. On friday, he had won the vote in parliament: 180 members of the 350-strong parliament voted for the economics lecturer, who has led the spanish socialist workers’ party (PSOE) since 2014.

Now sanchez must assemble his cabinet. In the discussion for the office of his vice are the organization secretary of the socialists, jose luis abalos, and carmen calvo, who was in the government of the socialist (2004-2011) jose luis rodriguez zapatero several years culture minister, reported the spanish newspaper "el pais" with reference to PSOE circles.

The unidos podemos coalition, which is considered left-wing populist and supported the PSOE in the vote, is also expected to file claims for several ministerial posts. It was unclear what concessions sanchez will make to several small regional parties – including those from catalonia – for their support.

Until the new cabinet is sworn in, the ministers from the rajoy government will remain in office, spanish media reported on saturday. According to reports, however, the new ministers will be in place as early as next week. The PSOE, spain’s oldest party, had been in opposition since 2011. At that time, rajoy took over from his socialist predecessor zapatero.

In berlin and brussel, the change of power in madrid was initially viewed with concern. Rajoy was considered a close associate of chancellor angela merkel.

Sanchez, who has not yet presented a government program, has already assured that the first priority is to comply with european commitments. "My government will be socialist, paritatical (women and men), pro-european and a guarantor of budgetary stability and will fulfill its european tasks," he declared in parliament.

Like this post? Please share to your friends:
Leave a Reply

;-) :| :x :twisted: :smile: :shock: :sad: :roll: :razz: :oops: :o :mrgreen: :lol: :idea: :grin: :evil: :cry: :cool: :arrow: :???: :?: :!: