ACTING Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy is continuing to court controversy over his lingering leadership role but finally seems to have received the message by pledging to seek ‘political consensus’ on the EU-Turkey refugee deal.
The majority of the Spanish Congress fiercely objects to the proposed scheme – a shady arrangement that sees a one in one out policy on Syrians in Europe – and have voiced their opposition loudly.
More than 220 deputies in the Congress, out of 350 in total, view the arrangement as illegal in the eyes of both Spanish and international law. Socialist leader Pedro Sanchez meanwhile has stated his wholesale rejection of it and will refuse to compromise.
That placed the PP and Rajoy in a tricky position and they backtracked on an initial plan to sign the deal outright in Brussels. Instead they will now seek to find a political solution with the shifting Congress – tellingly the news was released by acting deputy prime minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria.
There is also the crucial question of why the acting government has the right to sign such significant international legislation when in all likelihood the coming months will see either a new government formed by opposition parties, or a new election that will likely not be contested by Rajoy.
Opposition leadership in Ciudadanos, Podemos and the PSOE are highly unlikely to project continental credibility on Rajoy by backing his international signature and would possibly oppose the deal on his perceived illegitimacy alone.