Europe

Spain election victor Rajoy warns 'no miracles'

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Media captionConservatives in Spain are celebrating a landslide victory

Spain's Popular Party leader Mariano Rajoy has told supporters their country's voice must be respected again, after a resounding election win.

At the end of a campaign dominated by the debt crisis, the centre right PP secured 186 seats in the 350-seat lower house of parliament.

However, Spain's borrowing costs continued to mount on Monday and the stock market fell by 3%.

Mr Rajoy said: "There won't be any miracles. We never promised any."

Speaking outside party headquarters in central Madrid, he assured his audience: "We will stop being part of the problem and will be part of the solution."

'Battle'

The PP leader, faced with slow growth and high unemployment, is unlikely to be sworn in by King Juan Carlos until 22 December, according to media reports on Monday.

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Media captionPP leader Mariano Rajoy: "We can only go forward if we all go forward together"

"Forty-six million Spaniards are going to wage a battle against the crisis," he said.

The Socialists, who have ruled Spain since 2004, slumped to 110 seats with 28.73% of the vote, their worst performance since the return of democracy to Spain in 1975.

The PP won 44.62% of the vote in a turnout of 71% of the electorate.

Socialist candidate Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba conceded that his party had not had "a good result". Defence Secretary Carme Chacon called it a "severe defeat".

Spain's outgoing Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, who is still secretary general of the Socialist Party,s said he would co-operate with his successor for the good of the country.

"The most important thing at this moment is that Spain stays solvent," he told reporters.

'Sacrifices ahead'

The economic picture facing the new government continues to worsen. Spain's borrowing costs on Monday rose to 6.5% and the Ibex 35 stock index fell 3.14% in afternoon trading.

Unemployment stands at five million and the jobless rate for non-students aged under 25 is 46%.

Miguel Arias, the PP's campaign co-ordinator, said Spain was "going to make all the sacrifices".

"We have been living as a very rich country," he told BBC News.

But Mr Rajoy, 56, has so far provided little indication of how he aims to calm the markets and fight Spain's economic crisis.

Also celebrating election success was pro-independence Basque party Amaiur which won seven seats.

Amaiur, which is a coalition of left-wing separatists, performed well on the back of Eta's decision to abandon its four-decade campaign of violence last month.

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