Though he will not officially become prime minister until about a month from now, Mariano Rajoy has to start working on a plan to pull Spain out of economic crisis.
He lead the conservative People’s Party to a landslide win, gaining the largest majority in 30 years, but it will be a hollow victory if he is unable to prevent Spain from becoming the next eurozone country to need an international bailout.
Rajoy has already said ‘there is no miracle recipe or magic potion’, and he is aiming to create sustainable jobs, but huge cuts will have to be made.
The defeated Socialists say they will be a responsible opposition. Nevertheless, they will be keeping an eye on the government’s austerity plans.
Putting the nation before party politics, outgoing prime minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero said: “There are some moments in your political life, there are some moments in the life of a country, in a democracy, when a government has to give priority to general interests, instead of partisan interests. That’s why I’m convinced that together we’ll overcome the deep difficulties this country is facing.”
Despite seven years as prime minister, Zapatero did not run as the Socialist candidate.
With Rajoy’s PP party urging him to speed up the transfer of power, Zapatero’s time as prime minister might end sooner than expected.