Prime Minister of Spain

President of the Government of Spain
Presidente del Gobierno de España
Escudo de España.svg
Pedro Sánchez in 2018d.jpg
Pedro Sánchez

since 2 June 2018
Government of Spain
Office of the Prime Minister
StyleExcelentísimo Señor
(The Most Excellent)
Member ofCouncil of Ministers
European Council
Reports toCortes Generales
ResidencePalacio de la Moncloa
SeatMadrid, Spain
NominatorThe Monarch
AppointerThe Monarch
following a vote of confidence by a majority of the Congress of Deputies and with the countersignature of the President of the Congress of Deputies
Term lengthNo fixed term
General elections to the Congress of Deputies are held every 4 years at most. No term limits are imposed on the office.
Constituting instrumentConstitution of 1978
Inaugural holderVíctor Damián Sáez
Adolfo Suárez (current Constitution)
FormationNovember 19, 1823
(196 years ago)
DeputyDeputy Prime Minister of Spain
Salary€82,978 p.a.[2]
Escudo de España (mazonado).svg
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Flag of Spain.svg Spain portal

The Prime Minister of Spain, officially the President of the Government of Spain (Spanish: Presidente del Gobierno de España),[3] is the head of the government of Spain. The office was established in its current form by the Constitution of 1978 and originated in 1823 as a chairmanship of the extant Council of Ministers.

Upon a vacancy, the Spanish monarch nominates a presidency candidate for a vote of confidence by the Congress of Deputies of Spain, the lower house of the Cortes Generales (parliament). The process is a parliamentarian investiture by which the head of government is indirectly elected by the elected Congress of Deputies. In practice, the Prime Minister is almost always the leader of the largest party in the Congress. Since current constitutional practice in Spain calls for the King to act on the advice of his ministers, the Prime Minister is the country's de facto chief executive.

Pedro Sánchez of the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE) has been Prime Minister since 2 June 2018, after a successful motion of no confidence against former Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy. The Sánchez government technically ceased on 29 April 2019 after the 2019 Spanish general election, and has been acting ever since.

Official title

The Spanish head of government has, since 1938, been known in Spanish as the Presidente del Gobierno – literally President of the Government,[4][5] but the term 'president' is far older. Spain was not unique in this regard: it was one of several European parliamentary systems including France, Italy and Ireland that styled the head of government as 'Presidents' of the government rather than the Westminster term of 'Prime Minister' (see President of the Council for the full list of corresponding terms); similarly, the President of the Congress or Senate referred to the parliamentary speakers. This system of multiple distinct offices all labelled 'president' causes confusion among English-speakers: both President George W. Bush and his brother, Florida Governor Jeb Bush, referred to José María Aznar as "President" on separate occasions,[6][7] and Donald Trump referred to Mariano Rajoy both as "President" and "Mr. President" during Rajoy's 2017 White House visit.[8] While this term of address was not incorrect, it could be culturally misleading to or for English-speakers, so that "Prime Minister" is often used as an inexact but culturally equivalent term to ensure clarity.

The custom to name the head of government as "President" dates back to the reign of Isabella II of Spain, specifically to 1834 and the regency of Maria Christina of the Two Sicilies when, styled after the head of government of the French July Monarchy (1830), the official title was the Presidente del Consejo de Ministros ("President of the Council of Ministers"). This remained until 1939, when the Second Spanish Republic ended. Before 1834 the figure was known as Secretario de Estado ("Secretary of State"), a denomination used today for junior ministers.