Spanish Prime Minister, Pedro Sanchez, won a parliamentary vote of confidence on January 7, ending almost a year of governmental deadlock.
In his message, the King expressed his congratulations to Sanchez as well as Morocco’s wishes for success in the service of the Spanish people’s aspirations. He also conveyed his wishes for greater progress and prosperity.
The Monarch took the opportunity to underscore Morocco’s commitment to strengthen its strategic partnership with Spain, in recognition of the bonds of friendship and mutual respect between the neighboring countries, as well as the shared heritage between Moroccans and Spanish people.
The King concluded his message by expressing his interest in consolidating the coordination and consultation between the two countries on various regional and international issues of common interest.
On Tuesday, January 7, Sanchez won the vote of confidence by a historic two-vote margin, breaking nearly a year of deadlock. The Socialist Party leader will now lead a coalition-based government thanks to support from seven parties and the abstention of the Catalan ERC party.
The socialists are currently the largest political party in Spain’s parliament. However, they fell short of an absolute majority in both of the recent elections, due to the right-wing party Vox gaining popularity. The far-right party is currently the third-largest party in the parliament.
The Spanish Prime Minister entertains a good relationship with Morocco. In an interview with Spanish media last year, Sanchez said that his country has strong and strategic ties with Morocco, calling the North African country a “special ally” for Spain.
“The economic and human dimensions of the Morocco-Spain relations” mean that, besides being “good neighbors,” the two countries “enjoy friendly and very close ties in many fields,” said Sanchez during the interview.
“Morocco is an essential partner for Spain and for my government,” he concluded.
However, the “friendliness” of Sanchez towards Morocco has brought him criticism from right-wing parties, most notably the growing-in-popularity Vox.
“Spain is currently alone and humiliated by Europe, but also by Morocco, which today proclaims sovereignty over our territorial waters. Because of the softness of Sanchez’s government, Morocco finds us weak and tries to abuse it,” said Abascal.
The nationalist politician questioned the legitimacy of Sanchez’s government, accusing it of “devaluing” Spain and opening it up to mockery from other countries, including Morocco.
While Sanchez’s close win in the vote of confidence will help recover some of Spain’s political stability, it remains to be seen how the country’s political scene and foreign diplomacy will evolve, especially with the rise of the far-right.