Merkel says Spain's Rajoy won clear reform mandate
German Chancellor Angela Merkel congratulated Spain's Mariano Rajoy and his conservative Popular Party Tuesday for winning a "clear mandate for necessary reforms" in weekend elections.
Merkel said in a letter addressed to Rajoy and released by her office that she wished him "much luck and success" in his bid to ease Spain's 21.5-percent jobless rate and rescue the country from the eurozone debt crisis.
"In tough times for Spain and Europe you have received a clear mandate from your people to pass and implement the necessary reforms," she wrote.
"I look forward to working with you to deepen European integration and in the interest of Europe. I also look forward to bolstering and deepening the traditionally strong friendship between our countries and peoples."
The 56-year-old Rajoy claimed a resounding win in Sunday's general election after campaigning to jumpstart the stalled economy after more than seven years of Socialist rule and slash a towering public deficit.
© 2011 AFP