> Losing a confidence vote for the second time in a week. Spain's acting Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, unable to form a government again. The country's political deadlock extended yet further bringing it ever closer to a third general election, while the country's robust economic recovery starts to suffer.
Reuter's Sonya Dowsett covering the story in Madrid.>> The economy is still growing very strongly. But the lack of a government is beginning to squeeze that growth. So it's still doing very well but analysts are saying it could do even better if there was a central government. Why?
Well, because you need a government to do things like sign off on big public works projects and there's been a huge plunge in public spending on these kinds of projects. Things like bridges, roads, maintenance, etc. More pertinently, there's a big problem in terms of the budget on the economic side, because there's still no budget for 2017.
>> But Rajoy needed just 11 abstentions to win this time round. But his opponents voted against him for the second time in 48 hours. The focus now shifting to regional elections later this month. Rajoy has made his anti-regionalist sentiments clear. That's damaged his standing with Basque and Catalan parties that traditionally helped support national minority governments.
He'll now likely embark upon some serious horse trading to try to get them on site. If he can't manage that, Spain could be heading to the polls on Christmas Day, 12 months on from the first round of elections.