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Spain crisis gives way to new battles for PM

Mariano Rajoy speaks to journalists after being re-elected during the parliamentary investiture vote for a prime minister, at the Spanish Congress (Las Cortes) on October 29, 2016, in MadridWhen conservative political survivor Mariano Rajoy takes control of Spain once again this week he will be faced with unprecedented opposition as he grapples with painful economic reforms and resurgent Catalan separatism. Rajoy’s nomination has been formalised by a royal decree of King Felipe VI after he won a confidence vote in parliament on Saturday — only possible because Spain’s socialists (PSOE) decided to abstain and not vote against him. If Rajoy is able to persuade enough parliamentarians to back — or not oppose — his taxation and spending plans, he will still face the scrutiny of the European Union which will want to know how the country will reduce its structural deficit to below three percent of GDP for 2017.

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