In an interview on the program “Espejo Público” on Antena 3 the acting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said that the great change that could take place in Spain is that of a broad agreement to form a new government, something that would take place for the first time since 1977.
Rajoy recalled that Spain’s problems are neither popular legislative initiatives nor the limitation on the number of mandates of Prime Minister. He explained that the new government must place job creation and economic growth firmly at the top of its list of priorities. He claimed that to these fundamental issues another four priorities should then be added: maintaining the Welfare State, the fight against terrorism, the unity of Spain and the fight against corruption.
As regards the debate that has opened up on eliminating provincial governments, Rajoy said that he was “strongly against this” because, in his opinion, many small municipalities would be left in a very complicated situation if these institutions disappeared.
Rajoy once again advocated a government with a wide majority since, in addition to “respecting the votes of the Spanish people”, this would allow “lasting” reforms to be undertaken and would send out “a strong message” to economic and social stakeholders and to the markets both in Spain and further afield.
He explained that when the recent elections were held, he was “fully aware” that a coalition government would need to be formed and that new players would emerge onto the political stage. However, he added that our citizens, through their votes, did not ask for change but rather for a pact. “What our people asked for was not change, but for a pact and that the great change that could take place in Spain was a pact whereby, for the first time since 1977, we could act in a similar way to Germany, Austria, Finland and Holland”.
At any event, Rajoy described the formation of a government by independent parties, as being suggested by some, as “foolish”.
“Democracy is a system where the people choose who they deem to be fit and opportune and who heads up the government; it is good for this to happen through the ballot box,” Rajoy said.
Rajoy recalled that there have been some very tough times in his term as Prime Minister, and some very difficult decisions have had to be made.
“That takes its toll,” Rajoy said, however, he added that the change that has taken place in the country over the last few years has been “highly notable”; in 2015, Spain was the EU country to enjoy the most growth, and furthermore, unemployment is falling at a year-on-year rate of 8%.
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