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Pedro Sanchez becomes Spain's new socialist prime minister

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Pedro Sanchez becomes Spain's new socialist prime minister

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Spain's new prime minister Pedro Sanchez is the country's seventh head of government since its return to democracy in the late 1970s.

He forced his predecessor Mariano Rajoy out of government through a no-confidence vote on Friday.

However his Socialist Party holds just 84 seats out of 350 in the parliament, making it unclear how long his administration can last.

But, like Rajoy, Sanchez is pro-EU and there's no suggestion of any major political upheavals.

In fact Spain's stock market rose after the no-confidence vote, to trade nearly 2 percent higher, whilst its borrowing costs fell.

Leftist party Podemos has promised to support him in parliament, though it seems unlikely to gain major influence as Sanchez is keen to win back centrist voters.

And he's already committed to respecting a fiscally conservative budget passed by Rajoy.

The fragmented parliament means Sanchez will also find it hard to row back on structural reforms passed by his predecessor, including new labour laws and cuts in healthcare and education.

Two Catalan pro-independence parties backed the motion of no-confidence in Rajoy.

And, although Sanchez has promised to start talks with the Catalans, he's already said he won't give the region an independence referendum.