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May 25, 2018, 9:33 a.m. EDT

Spain’s Rajoy under pressure as opposition calls for confidence vote

Move comes a day after conviction of senior ruling party leaders

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By Jeannette Neumann


AFP/Getty Images
Mariano Rajoy upon arrival at a 2016 European Union leaders summit in Brussels.

MADRID — Spain’s main opposition party called a parliamentary vote in an effort to oust Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy from office, after a court ruled that the premier’s party benefited financially from an illegal kickback scheme during the country’s property boom.

The confidence vote, filed by the center-left Socialist Party and supported by the far-left Podemos, adds to mounting political pressure that is weakening Rajoy’s minority government. On Thursday, a court handed dozens of former members of the premier’s center-right Popular Party jail sentences and ordered them to pay tens of millions of euros in fines for their roles in a corruption scheme.

The party denies responsibility and says it will appeal the ruling.

Despite public furor over the ruling, opposition parties face significant hurdles to oust Rajoy, who has been in office since 2011 and survived a confidence vote last year.

An expanded version of this report appears at WSJ.com.

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