• Spain's news in English

Sánchez chosen to lead Socialists in PM race

AFP · 22 Jun 2015, 08:43

Published: 22 Jun 2015 08:43 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Sánchez, a telegenic 43-year-old parliamentarian, vowed in his acceptance speech to make the fight against joblessness and corruption the centrepiece of his government if he is elected.

"The years pass and Spanish society continues to face two problems which drain our strength and undermine our social moral. Two challenges which I vow to eradicate: unemployment and corruption," he said before 2,000 party members in Madrid.

Sánchez took the reins of the party in July 2014 after the Socialists suffered their worst-ever election showing in a European Parliament vote, leading the previous leader Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba to step down.

Support for the Socialists has plummeted since they lost power to the conservative Popular Party in the last general election in November 2011 after two terms in office.

The party presided over the early years of Spain's devastating economic downturn which was sparked by the collapse in 2008 of a decade-long property bubble and has struggled to overcome criticism over how their last government handled the economy.

The Socialists were chided by some for responding too late and by others for succumbing too easily to the austerity policies imposed by Brussels which they blame for Spain's jobless rate of 23.8 percent.

The party has lost supporters to two new parties -- anti-austerity party Podemos which is close to Greece's ruling Syriza party and to a lesser extent to market friendly Ciudadanos, which are both expected to make inroads in the next election.

The date of the next election has not been announced, but it is expected to be held at the end of the year.

Polls suggest that it will be a four-way race in which no party wins an outright majority, making post-vote alliance-building necessary.

Political parties in Spain do not always put forward the party chief to lead their election campaign but Sanchez received strong backing from the party as their candidate for prime minister.

Some critics however dismissed Sánchez, who only recently burst into the political limelight, as a lightweight and criticised his willingness to appear on lowbrow television shows.

Story continues below…

But he appears to have halted the slide in support for the Socialists.

In a poll published on Sunday in top-selling daily newspaper El Pais, Sánchez came second amongst the most favoured politicians after the leader of Ciudadanos, 35-year-old Albert Rivera.

During last month's regional and local elections, the Socialists came in second place after the Popular Party with 25 percent of the vote. 

For more news from Spain, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Spain's Rajoy says king has tasked him with forming govt
Photo: AFP

Spain's king on Tuesday tasked Mariano Rajoy with forming a government, taking the acting conservative prime minister a step closer to power again after a 10-month political deadlock.

Two imams arrested in Ibiza resort over 'Isis support'
The men were arrested in the resort of Sant Antoni de Portmany. Photo: Jose A / Flickr

Two Moroccan imams at a mosque on the Spanish resort island of Ibiza were arrested Tuesday on suspicion of backing the Islamic State group and inciting jihad.

Balearic Islands choose to keep summertime forever
The islands will have longer evenings during winter. Photo: AFP

The Balearic Islands want to keep summertime when the rest of Spain turns the clocks back on Sunday.

  Brazilian had 'uncontrollable desire to kill': Spain police
Francois Patrick Nogueira Gouveia has been charged with murdering his uncle, his wife and their two children. Photo: Guardia Civil.

A Brazilian teenager accused of dismembering his uncle and aunt and killing their two young sons in a grisly crime that shocked Spain had an "uncontrollable desire to kill", police said on Monday.

Man rescued from bin after climbing in to find old clothes
Photo: Policía Local Murcia

Police were called after passersby reported hearing a man calling for help from within a rubbish bin in the Vistabella neighbourhood of Murcia, southern Spain.

Spain faces crucial week as conservatives re-take power
Mariano Rajoy hopes to form a government this week. Photo: AFP

Spain entered a crucial week as acting conservative PM Mariano Rajoy prepared to re-take power, ending ten rollercoaster months without government marked by hope and disillusion.

Eight very creepy Halloween costumes ideas from Spain
Photo: Pan's Labyrinth

Forget flamenco dancers and bullfighters, The Local counts down the freakiest alternative costume ideas to dress up in this Halloween.

Man attacked by racist thug in UK street for talking Spanish

Tomas Gil, 27, from Valencia in eastern Spain was talking to his girlfriend in their native language after a night out in the British seaside town of Poole when he was set upon by a racist thug.

Malaga: Police probe bizarre 'sex death' of homeless Brit
The man was found near Malaga airport. Photo: Dennis Howlett / Flickr

A British homeless man was found dead tied to a bench near Malaga airport with his trousers down and his genitals in a can of tuna.

Clock ticking as Spain races to avoid third elections
Third elections could now be avoided. Photo: AFP

Spain's Socialists voted on Sunday to allow the conservatives to take power, likely averting a third election for Spaniards tired of going to the polls.

Analysis & Opinion
Out of the dark: Five years on from Eta ceasefire
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Spanish 'La Mafia' restaurants banned after Italian complaint
Spain's top court overturns bullfighting ban in Catalonia
Hunt launched for ten most wanted Brit fugitives hiding out in Spain
Napflix: Spaniards launch very boring TV channel for siestas
Madrid parish church faces fine over 'too noisy' bells
Celebrate expat life at Madrid’s THRIVE convention
Fury after kids told to bring their own loo roll to school
Disney announces plans for Don Quixote action movie
Activist tells 8-yr-old matador wannabe with cancer 'just die'
King to make last minute push to avoid third vote in Spain
Amazing photos of Catalonia's 'human tower' contest
What's on in Spain: October 2016
'No way, Jose! You'll never get your hands on our Rock'
Recipe: How to make a classic Spanish tortilla de patatas
Chorizo in paella? Go back to cooking school Jamie Oliver
Spain in eye of a perfect storm after 10 months without govt
Thousands share clips of life for 'Spain in a Day' film
Ten incredible Spain locations for Game of Thrones season 7
Analysis & Opinion
Why moving to Spain could be the best decision of your life
Seven reasons why autumn is the very best season in Spain
Spanish study finds four types of personality. Which are you?
New search underway for civil war grave of poet Lorca
jobs available