4 June 2018

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy of Spain on Friday was ousted from office following a no-confidence vote in parliament. He was replaced by a leader of the opposition Socialist Workers’ Party, Pedro Sanchez. Catalan separatist lawmakers helped overthrow Rajoy’s government. Sanchez was sworn in on Saturday (2 June 2018). The Sánchez government is likely to be a weak one and may last only a few months. News Tribune reported.

Rajoy’s party members were handed jail sentences this month for their part in the long-running Operations Guertel corruption case. The National Court last week fined the party $287,000 and handed down tough sentences to 29 businesspeople and party officials, including its former treasurer, Luis Bárcenas, who received a sentence of 33 years.

The court observed that the party benefited from the systematic use of kickbacks from contracts. The kickbacks were kept in a slush fund and some party officials received non-taxable bonuses in addition to their salaries.

None of the sitting members of government were found to have committed any wrongdoing. But Rajoy’s credibility was damaged because He had earlier testified that there were no such slush funds.

On Saturday Spain’s separatist region Catalonia swore in Quim Torra as President.