Conservatives Put Party Before Country. They’ve Harmed Both

Mariano Rajoy
Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy looks out the window of a cable car in Sóller, Majorca, June 22, 2016 (PP)

Center-right leaders in Britain, Spain and the United States have put the interests of their parties ahead of the good of their countries. Both their parties and their countries have suffered as a result. Read more “Conservatives Put Party Before Country. They’ve Harmed Both”

Spain’s Rajoy Forced Out, Sánchez Elected Prime Minister

Pablo Iglesias Pedro Sánchez
Spanish party leaders Pablo Iglesias and Pedro Sánchez speak in Madrid, February 5, 2016 (PSOE)
  • Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy has lost a confidence vote in Congress in the wake of a corruption scandal in his conservative party.
  • Socialist Party leader Pedro Sánchez takes his place with the support of the far left and regionalists.
  • According to polls, the liberal Citizens stand to gain the most from early elections. Read more “Spain’s Rajoy Forced Out, Sánchez Elected Prime Minister”

Confidence Vote in Spain, Explained

Mariano Rajoy
Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy makes a speech in Congress in Madrid, October 11, 2017 (La Moncloa)

Spanish lawmakers are debating whether or not to remove Mariano Rajoy as prime minister. A no-confidence motion introduced by the opposition Socialist Party is due to be voted on tomorrow.

Here is everything you need to know about the vote, including its chances of success. Read more “Confidence Vote in Spain, Explained”

Spain’s Prime Minister May Be Forced to Call Early Elections

Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy’s time appears to be running out. The three largest opposition parties have called for early elections after prominent members of his People’s Party were found guilty of corruption.

Rajoy leads a minority conservative government. He has been relying on the support of the liberal Citizens to pass legislation. Read more “Spain’s Prime Minister May Be Forced to Call Early Elections”

Rajoy Walks Back Promise of Constitutional Reform

Carles Puigdemont Mariano Rajoy
Catalan president Carles Puigdemont listens to Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy giving a speech in Barcelona, August 18 (La Moncloa)

Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy has walked back his promise of constitutional reform, saying in a radio interview, “I have never been a supporter of reforming the Constitution. I’m prepared to listen, but not to go against unity or sovereignty.”

His only concession was to agree the current model of autonomous communities needs to be “evaluated” — but that could mean different things:

  • Left-wing parties argue for something close to federation, perhaps even with a right to self-determination for the Basques and Catalans.
  • Nationalists on the right, who felt Rajoy didn’t intervene strongly enough to disrupt the October 1 independence referendum in Catalonia, argue for centralization. Read more “Rajoy Walks Back Promise of Constitutional Reform”

A Failure of Leadership in Spain

Mariano Rajoy
Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy arrives at Congress in Madrid, October 29, 2016 (La Moncloa)

The unstoppable force of Catalan separatism is about to meet the unmovable object that is Mariano Rajoy.

The Spanish prime minister and conservative party leader has vowed to prevent an independence referendum in the northeastern region at all costs. The Catalans are determined to vote anyway.

Neither side will be able to claim victory on Monday.

Rajoy may succeed in blocking the vote, but his intransigence has already convinced moderate Catalans there isn’t a future for them in Spain. The separatists may manage to organize a referendum, but it will be so marred by illegality and irregularity that the outcome cannot possibly be considered a mandate to break away. Read more “A Failure of Leadership in Spain”

Rajoy’s Attitude Makes Catalan Secession More Likely

Mariano Rajoy
Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy is about to deliver a news conference in Madrid, July 13, 2016 (PP)

Whatever happened to Mariano Rajoy’s willingness to talk?

In February, he offered to hear out Catalan demands for self-government except one: holding a binding independence referendum.

Now instead of sitting down with Carles Puigdemont, the Catalan president, Rajoy has avoided meeting him in Madrid and challenged him to what could only be a fruitless debate in the national parliament.

While Puigdemont was giving a speech across town, Rajoy dismissed all his plans as “political, juridical and social nonsense.”

“I can tell Spaniards not to worry,” he told reporters on Monday, “because this will not come into force and the national sovereignty will keep being the national sovereignty as long as the majority of Spaniards want it to be.” Read more “Rajoy’s Attitude Makes Catalan Secession More Likely”

Rajoy’s Confirmation Hinges on Socialist Abstention

Spain’s caretaker prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, is due to seek parliament’s support for a second term on Tuesday but knows that his chances are slim.

“There is a serious risk of having to call a third election in the same year,” he warned supporters of his conservative People’s Party in Galicia this weekend.

Spaniards returned to the polls in June after the parties failed to put together a coalition government in the wake of the election in December. Neither major party commands an absolute majority, however, and the left-wing Socialists have said they will not vote for the right-wing Rajoy. If they refuse to budge, a third election may be inevitable. Read more “Rajoy’s Confirmation Hinges on Socialist Abstention”

Rajoy Gets Closer to Second Term as Liberals May Abstain

Spain’s acting prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, edged closer to winning a second term on Tuesday when the head of the fourth largest party in parliament suggested they might abstain in a confirmation vote.

Albert Rivera, the leader of the liberal Ciudadanos, told reporters after a meeting with Rajoy that the country needs to “get moving” and cannot have a third election.

“We’re not going to be in government,” he said, “but we’re realistic, responsible and constructive.” Read more “Rajoy Gets Closer to Second Term as Liberals May Abstain”