Spain's Rajoy: the no-frills, under-estimated survivor

Leader of the Popular Party (PP) and Spain's caretaker Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy applauds his supporters at the PP headquarters in Madrid, on June 26, 2016Criticised as dull and uncharismatic, Spain’s outgoing prime minister Mariano Rajoy retorts that he represents stability in the face of inexperienced upstarts, especially the “radicals” of the anti-austerity Podemos party. “It’s been hard, it’s been difficult, it’s been complicated, but we put up a fight for Spain,” he said in the early hours of Monday, ecstatic, looking down from a tall podium on a crowd of supporters waving blue flags. Under his watch, Spain has returned to growth and unemployment has fallen back down to 21 percent from a high of nearly 27 percent in early 2013, even if it remains the second highest rate in the European Union.

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