EUROPEAN SUMMIT

Prime Minister wins broad consensus for political pact

Rajoy goes to Brussels with accord from opposition demanding growth strategies

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy will arrive at the European Summit today armed with heavy domestic political clout after winning broad support in Congress Tuesday for a political pact demanding that Brussels initiate growth strategies and help Spain find solutions to its persistent youth-unemployment problem.

The Catalan nationalist CiU bloc, the Basque National Party (PNV), Union, Progress and Democracy (UPyD), the Canaries Coalition, the Navarrese People’s Union (UPN) and the Asturias Forum (FAC) all signed on to the accord by voting in favor of it. The United Left (IU) coalition, however, refused to back it. The pact had originally been brokered by Rajoy of the Popular Party (PP) and Socialist leader Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba.

It will be the first time that Rajoy has attended a European Summit with a proposal backed by a broad consensus.

Specifically, the 10-point document calls on the European Central Bank to inject funds in the economies of member states, free up credit for small- and medium-sized businesses and the self-employed, and to approve an effective plan to generate employment among youths. Spain’s jobless rate stands at 27 percent, and 56 percent among young people.

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