PSOE tells Rajoy to step up to form gov’t or step down, parties head for 2nd round of talks with King

King Felipe VI (left) with Congress Speaker Patxi López Jan. 14th. Photo: Casa Real
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• PSOE pressured by PP on right, Podemos on left in crucial week of talks •

Following Friday’s surprise announcement by conservative acting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, that he would not make the first move to form a new government despite having been requested by King Felipe VI to do so, the leader of the Socialist party (PSOE) Pedro Sánchez has called on Rajoy to either step forward with an attempt to form a government or to step down as leader of the Partido Popular (PP).

As head of state, the King was scheduled to meet Monday afternoon with Congress Speaker Patxi López, prior to beginning an unprecedented second weeklong round of talks with party leaders aimed to constituting a government.

The PSOE has said that only after a second Rajoy refusal at the end of this week, in the event the King then were to ask Sánchez to step forward to form a new government, would the Socialist leader begin any formal negotiations with new-left, anti-austerity party Podemos and others to form a “progressive” coalition government.

► Read the Full Story in Spanish at El Periódico …

► Read the Full Story in English at Reuters …

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