MARIANO Rajoy begins his second term in a completely different political landscape to five years ago.
In 2011, Spain was still in the darkest days of a savage recession. Jobs and securing a path to economic recovery were the priority.
But with Spain’s economy powering on – albeit with 18% of the country still jobless – Rajoy has switched his focus to the thorny issue of Catalunya.
The appointment of pragmatic lawyer Soraya Saenz de Santamaria indicates Rajoy is keen to pursue better relations with the key region.
Santamaria has a reputation for fixing crises. She will need all her powers of diplomacy to resolve her government’s headache of Catalan independence claims.