Spain: No Honeymoon For New PM, Faces Tough Economic Challenges


There will be no post-election “honeymoon” for Spain’s likely new prime minister Mariano Rajoy, with Spain on the brink of recession and struggling with 22 percent unemployment.

Friends and aides describe Mr. Rajoy as an introvert and someone who never says what he is thinking, which makes it difficult for many Spaniards and the European community to gauge his plans to turn around the Spanish economy.

The 56 year-old Rajoy was born in Spain’s northwestern Galacia region. He has a law degree and worked as a land registrar before entering local politics.

Mr. Rajoy later moved to Madrid and held four different ministerial posts between 1996 and 2004 under the last conservative prime minister, Jose Maria Aznar. He took over the Popular Party leadership from Mr. Aznar in 2003.

Mr. Rajoy and the Popular Party lost two general elections to Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero’s Socialists until this year when Spain’s sour economy appears to have driven the Socialists from power.


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