Nov. 21 - Mariano Rajoy's centre-right People's Party stormed to a crushing election victory. Marie-Claire Fennessy reports.
Spanish voters made their voices heard with a crushing election victory for the People's Party. Mariano Rajoy is Spain's newly elected prime minister, leading his centre-right party to an absolute parliamentary majority. His party took 186 seats in the 350-seat lower house official results showed, with 99.95 percent of the vote counted. The Socialists, led by Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba, slumped to 111 seats from 169, their worst showing in 30 years. Rajoy is expected to push through drastic measures to stop Spain being pulled deeper into a debt crisis which threatens the whole euro zone. Rajoy was clear difficult times lay ahead. (SOUNDBITE) SPAIN'S DESIGNATE PRIME MINISTER, MARIANO RAJOY, SAYING (Spanish): "I ask you to continue helping me, I ask you to continue to support me. We will face difficult moments but we have desire, courage, will, strength and support to form a government that will represent every Spaniard." Mother of two, Maria Martin welcomed the change of leadership. (SOUNDBITE) MOTHER OF TWO, MARIA MARTIN, SAYING (Spanish) : "Those were years of economic and political disaster. The truth is, we need a change. And I went on the street to vindicate this." Under the Socalist government, Spain went from boom to bust and has the EU's highest jobless rate with five million people out of work. Spanish voters were the fifth EU nation to throw out their leaders, following Greece, Portugal, Ireland and Italy. Marie-Claire Fennessy, Reuters