Pedro Sánchez sworn in as Spain’s prime minister after no-confidence vote

The English broadsheet, The Guardian, reports:

Leader of socialist PSOE faces uphill battle with just 84 seats in 350-seat parliament

Pedro Sánchez was sworn in as Spain’s new prime minister on Saturday, a day after the socialist leader overthrew his conservative predecessor, Mariano Rajoy, in a historic vote of no confidence provoked by anger over corruption in Rajoy’s party.

Sánchez, whose PSOE party relied on support from the anti-austerity Podemos party as well as Basque and Catalan nationalists to depose Rajoy, will have to govern with just 84 MPs in Spain’s 350-seat parliament.

The 46-year-old former economics professor has promised to address the “pressing social needs” of citizens in the country still plagued by high unemployment and the effects of the financial crisis, but he faces an uphill battle. Analysts warn that parliamentary consensus will be in short supply, making significant social reforms hard to achieve.

Follow the news report.

Left-wing Podemos leader under fire for his 540k home

Sur in English reports:

Pablo Iglesias, the high-profile national politician who is leader of the Podemos party that grew out of an anti-capitalist street movement, was under fire on social media and in the press this week for acquiring a luxury 540,000-euro home.

The purchase, made with his partner and fellow Podemos politician, Irene Montero, has come as a surprise to many, including those within his own party, due to Iglesias’s outspoken criticism of the supposedly comfortable life of MPs.

Back in 2012, Iglesias commented on the decision of a minister to spend a similar amount on a home by Tweeting: “Would you entrust the country’s economic policy to someone who spent 600,000 euros on a luxury penthouse?”

The new home of the radical Podemos couple is in the hills behind Madrid and is on a 2,000 -metre plot, including swimming pool and guest house. Iglesias has justified the decision saying he has earned the money and it is for living in and not speculating on. The couple are expecting twins and face a 1,600-euro-a-month joint mortgage.

Iglesias currently lives in a 60-metre-square flat.

Follow this story

Spain: Happy General Election Day

SpainToday is the day to use your voice and vote with your head. 

The polls have been open for a few hours and the ballot boxes are ready to accept your vote. That’s right, after months of political party campaigns, fantastical political storytelling and a lot of backstabbing and finger-pointing it’s time to exercise your democratic right to vote. And, in my book, you should vote with your head and not with your heart.

So, the things I have been thinking about include:

  1. Economic reform to support sole traders and the new generation of entrepreneurs
  2. Educational reform which moves away from standardisation and puts teachers at the policy table
  3. Infrastructural reform to support gender equality and racial, cultural and religious tolerance
  4. Financial commitment to medical and scientific research and development
  5. Practical measures to eradicate corruption and nepotism

Happy voting!

British People Plan: I’m already thinking about Christmas!

andalusiaI need your advice!

Much to the disgust of my mother who doesn’t understand why I don’t want to celebrate Christmas with my birth family in the UK, (perhaps the weather, the children and the endless washing up have something to do with it!), I”ve decided to stay in Málaga and persuaded some like-minded friends, including my elder sister, to spend Christmas with me. However, we are thinking about taking a road-trip and renting a self-catering cottage inland for three or four days  so we can do some adventure sport, play dominoes with old Spanish men, and perhaps do a lot of drinking and eating.  So, please help me; does anyone have any ideas about where we should go?

So far, the following places have been suggested:

  1. Grazalema
  2. Ronda
  3. Priego de Cordoba

What do you think?  Any suggestions?