POLITICS

Rajoy rejects opposition calls for pact of state to tackle crisis

PM instead urges support for government’s reform agenda

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy in Congress on Wednesday as Socialist leader Alfredo Pérez Rubalacaba turns away.
Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy in Congress on Wednesday as Socialist leader Alfredo Pérez Rubalacaba turns away.Gorka Lejarcegi

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy told Congress on Wednesday that he has no intention of changing his economy policy despite repeated entreaties from all opposition groups as well as leading members of his own Popular Party (PP).

“There will be no change of tack,” he said, claiming that his austerity measures prevented a “crash in Spain.”

“I cannot implement an economic policy like the one that brought us to this point because that is not why I ran in elections,” he said, in reference to the previous Socialist government of José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, which launched the first spending cuts to reduce Spain’s budget deficit.

The conservative leader also rejected calls for a cross-party agreement mirroring the 1977 Pacts of La Moncloa, which paved the way for democracy, to deal with pressing issues like the more than six million people out of a job in Spain.

“Regarding a state pact, of course it is better to have a dialogue than not to, but we need to see about what, because if it is to move backwards, then the answer is no,” Rajoy said.

Instead, the Spanish leader asked parties to support the reforms that are already underway in areas like the pension system, the government workforce, local administration, corruption and the single market.

Spain is in the grip of its second recession in barely four years.

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