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Rajoy approved by Spanish parliament as PM


10:51, December 21, 2011

MADRID, Dec. 20 (Xinhua) -- Mariano Rajoy was approved by Spanish parliament as the new prime minister on Tuesday at the end of the two-day investiture debate.

During the two-day debate, Rajoy set out the policies of his Popular Party, which won the general election last month with an overall majority of 186 seats in the 350-seat parliament.

In his speech, Rajoy said his party would dedicate efforts to ensuring that Spain will meet the target of reducing the country's deficit in line with the agreement the country reached with the EU in October.

Rajoy said that Spain would need to cut around 16.5 billion euros (21.62 billion U.S. dollars) in terms of spending, but promised he would not impose any tax increases on the Spaniards.

The new prime minister also promised labor reform in order to combat the country's unemployment situation, which stood at 21 percent, the highest in the 27-member European Union.

Meanwhile, the defeated Socialist Party promised to offer a constructive opposition, as did the party Union Progress and Democracy.

Rajoy will be sworn in by King Juan Carlos on Wednesday.

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