Today, Spain’s electorate gave the conservative People’s Party a landslide win ousting the Socialist Party from office. Mariano Rajoy becomes Spain’s new Prime Minister succeeding Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero who came to power in March 2004, three days after the Madrid train bombings.
Although Zapatero was re-elected in 2008, the Spanish economy has been in freefall ever since. For all of the economic problems which have beset Greece and Italy, Spain has the highest unemployment rate in the EU at 22.6%. Zapatero announced he would not seek another term in office back in April and voters took out their anger towards Zapatero on his successor, Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba losing nearly sixty seats in the Spanish parliament.
Rajoy won’t be sworn into office until next month but unlike Greece and Italy, he’ll have a solid majority in parliament. The only thing that could constrain the new government at this point would be decisions made in Brussels rather than Madrid.