Spain Will Almost Certainly Have to Call Elections Again
A possible last-minute deal between Spain’s ruling Socialist Party and the liberal Citizens collapsed on Tuesday, forcing caretaker prime minister Pedro Sánchez to either attempt a stitch-up with the far left or call elections in November, which would Spain’s fourth in as many years.
The Citizens, who had for months ruled out voting in Sánchez’ favor over his willingness to negotiate with the ruling parties in Catalonia, offered to abstain from an investiture vote if the Socialist ruled out taxes increases on middle incomes and pardons for separatist leaders who are on trial for organizing an unauthorized independence vote in the northeastern region two years ago.
Sánchez claims he agreed to the terms; the Citizens insist he did not.
Polls suggest the Citizens stand the most to lose from early elections. Their indecisiveness is causing them to lose voters to both the Socialists on the left and the People’s Party on the right.
But the Socialists are unlikely to gain enough support for a majority, meaning in two months Spain could be back where it started. Read more
Spanish Parties Break Cardinal Rules of Coalition Politics
Spanish parties have broken the cardinal rules of coalition politics. As a result, the country may need to go to elections for the fourth time in as many years.
Outgoing prime minister Pedro Sánchez has one last chance to stay in power. If the far-left Podemos supports him after all, and the Catalan independence parties abstain from today’s investiture vote, he could scrape by with the smallest possible majority.
But if either sticks to its guns, the Socialists would either have to nominate another candidate (unlikely) or call snap elections in the autumn. Read more
Conservatives Put Party Before Country. They’ve Harmed Both
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
Italy’s decline and Britain’s imminent exit from the EU have raised its profile by default.
Miguel Otero-Iglesias and Ignacio Molina, both political scientists, write for Politico that Madrid has an opportunity to shape the EU’s agenda for the next five years.
In Pedro Sánchez, Spain has a prime minister who wants to seize that opportunity. His conservative predecessor, Mariano Rajoy, focused more on domestic affairs.
Sánchez’ being the most successful social democratic party in Europe gives him additional leverage. Germany’s Angela Merkel effectively leads the conservative and still-dominant European People’s Party. France’s Emmanuel Macron has allied with the liberals. For the sake of geographical as well as political balance, Sánchez is the logical third person at the table. Read more