Gonzalez again

Felipe Gonzalez became Spain's Prime Minister for a fourth straight term yesterday when the new parliament narrowly approved his investiture in a first-round vote, Phil Davison writes from Madrid. He is expected to announce a new cabinet by Tuesday.

Mr Gonzalez, who would achieve 15 years in power were he to complete his latest term - by no means a certainty - received 181 votes in the 350-seat Congress, five more than the absolute majority needed to avoid further rounds.

For the first time in its history, the Basque Nationalist Party, which seeks independence from Spain, backed the investiture of the Spanish prime minister.