SPAIN´S parliament on Tuesday voted in a left-wing coalition government under PSOE Socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, helped by the abstention of a Catalan pro-independence party.
The country had been led by a minority PSOE administration on the back of two general elections last year, which produced no overall majority for any party.
Sánchez, who has agreed to govern with the far-left Podemos party, won the confidence of Congress with 167 votes in favour and 165 against, with political opponents from the right like the Partido Popular describing the prime minister’s coalition of forces as illegitimate.
The policy agreement between PSOE and Podemos includes tax hikes for the wealthy and businesses and boosts to the country’s minimum wage and investment in health and education.
“Today time of moderation, progress and hope is born,” Mr Sánchez said shortly after winning the confidence vote.
But the closeness of the result and the complex nature of Spain’s fragmented political system means there is no guarantee that the Socialist-Podemos government will achieve stability, after four elections in the past four years.
“Now it is time to work,” said Gabriel Rufián of the Catalan Republican Left (ERC), whose 13 members in Congress agreed to abstain only after the PSOE agreed to launch a negotiation process between the governments of Spain and Catalunya.
But Partido Popular leader, Pablo Casado, accused Sánchez of forming a “government against the state”.
Pictured: Pedro Sánchez