New Spanish Speaker makes first address to congress

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, January 14, 2016
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The new Speaker of the Spanish Congress, Patxi Lopez, promised on Wednesday to help promote "dialogue and understanding," amidst ongoing discussions about possibly forming a coalition government.

Lopez, a respected member of the Socialist Workers Party (PSOE), who presided over the Basque Region between 2009 and 2012, was elected Speaker in the second round of voting on Wednesday, the first day Congress was convened following the Dec. 20 general election in Spain.

In that election, Spanish voters elected a hung parliament and since then, parties have been at loggerheads to reach an agreement.

An agreement between the PSOE, the People's Party (PP), and Citizens party allowed Lopez to be chosen in what could be the forerunner of a three-way pact to form a coalition government between the three parties in Spain.

In his opening speech, Lopez said Spain was "a plural nation in ideology and diverse in its way of understanding identities."

"Spain is not a map, nor is it an identity, it is a pact among citizens for freedom and collective progress," he said, adding that "all of the members of parliament have recognized they are mutually equal and that they all represent the Spanish citizens in an equal manner."

"It is in our hands to defend the autonomy of politics and the autonomy of the will of the people in the face of any external pressures," he said.

Lopez also said that "discrepancy and criticism, but also dialogue and agreements were the key elements in the political life of a democracy." Endit

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