Spain's parliament is debating a no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy after corruption scandals linked to his ruling People's Party. As David Pollard reports, he is expected to survive the vote amid an improving economic outlook.
At 34 degrees centigrade, it's unseasonally warm, even for Spain. Temperatures in some parts expected to hit 40. But after a raft of corruption scandals involving the ruling party, it's in parliament they're really losing their cool. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) PODEMOS SPEAKER IN CONGRESS IRENE MONTERO, SAYING: "Spain is tired of being robbed, it is tired of being robbed by you and democracy demands something be done about it." Prime minister Mariano Rajoy called to testify as a witness at a trial of party members - including former treasurer Luis Barcenas - after a long investigation into an alleged slush fund. Rajoy denies any wrongdoing. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) SPAIN'S PRIME MINISTER MARIANO RAJOY, SAYING: "None of the members of this government present here today and against whom you are putting a motion of no confidence are corrupt, nor can they be described as such..." And - amid improving conditions for some Spaniards - he is unlikely to lose the vote. Unemployment is still high - 18 per cent - twice that for young people. But so too is growth - the Bank of Spain raising its forecast to over three per cent this year for, currently, the euro zone's hottest performer. (SOUNDBITE) (English) WILSON KING INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT, HEAD OF RESEARCH, RICHARD HUNTER, SAYING: "There are of course pockets that continue to cause concern within Europe such as youth unemployment. But generally speaking we've got some fairly good economic data. We haven't had the populist shocks yet that many had been fearing at the start of 2017." Something Rajoy's minority government may well celebrate - after the confidence vote on Wednesday.