Dec. 20 - Spain's new leader Mariano Rajoy won a confidence vote in Parliament leaving the path paved for his confirmation on Wednesday when he will be sworn in. Penny Tweedie reports.
Spain's incoming prime minister, Mariano Rajoy enters the Spanish parliament He's facing a vote of confidence in a bid to become prime minister. The session is part of the political process towards Wednesday's swearing in ceremony - he won the vote easily. Rajoy's centre right People's Party was swept into power with an absolute majority . He has gone on to reveal a programme of stiff austerity and reform aimed at extracting Spain from its economic crisis. Answering questions from opposition MPs Rajoy reiterated his commitment to the EU and the resolution of the region's crisis. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) INCOMING SPANISH PRIME MINISTER MARIANO RAJOY SAYING: "I would like the the mechanism approved by the EU in July that substitutes the financial facility to become effective as soon as possible. It still has to be ratified by many countries in the union. We have done so here already, but I would like that it be done soonest, it would provide security, stability and it would serve to generate and increase confidence." Earlier this week he outlined plans to make deep spending cuts, bring down the budget deficit and create jobs. He also wants to restore Spain's battered international standing. The handover of power coincided with Spain's final bond sale of the year. Demand was much stronger than expected and nearly twice as many bonds changed hands as originally planned. The strong response brought borrowing costs down while yields fell dramatically compared to November. While the successful bond sale was an early Christmas present for the treasury - Spain is not out of the woods yet. Its sluggish economy and high deficit put it right in the middle of the euro crisis. Penny Tweedie, Reuters.