More Cork than Body – Difficult Starting Position for Spanish Government Cuvée

 

After months of agonising debates and under the influence of the Catalonia crisis, which has been intensifying for months now, Pedro Sánchez was re-elected prime minister last Tuesday. However, the price for his victory is high in many ways. The coalition between Sánchez’s socialists and the left-wing populist party Unidos Podemos, which despite months of negotiations was still considered impossible in the summer, has now been sealed in record time. This agreement encompassed substantial – particularly fiscal – concessions. Continue reading

Gambled Away: Government Formation in Spain More Complicated Than Before

Strong right-wing populists come in third – liberal party Ciudadanos crashes

 

Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez and his Social Democratic PSOE (“Partido Socialista Obrero Español” – Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party) have once again become the strongest force in Sunday’s parliamentary elections. Nevertheless, they have clearly missed their ultimate goal: to win votes in order to form a stable government. In fact, PSOE lost three mandates and now has 120 seats in Congress. The absolute majority requires 176 seats, but with the support of the left-wing populist party Unidos Podemos (“Together we can do it”) and the new Más País (“More Land”) the left-wing bloc only has 158 seats. For a progressive government majority, Sánchez would be dependent on the votes of various Catalan parties, which strive for the independence of the autonomous region and emerged strengthened from the 10N – it would be political harakiri. Continue reading

Spain Elects a New Parliament – Will There be a Government this Time?

Spain elects a new parliament for the fourth time in four years on 10 November

 

Spain will elect a new parliament for the fourth time in four years on 10 November (“10N”), after the failure of a coalition between the Social Democratic PSOE and the left-wing populist Unidos Podemos party. The elections are influenced by the worsening crisis in Catalonia, which has been shaken by violent protests since the judgments against the leaders behind the illegal independence referendum of 2017. There could also be further riots in Barcelona on the coming election Sunday. The central government is therefore sending additional security forces to the region to ensure that the elections run as smoothly as possible. Continue reading

Spanish Ciudadanos Establish as Liberal-Centrist Force

Albert Rivera is excited and in a defiant mode. Last Sunday, the leader of the Spanish Liberals achieved what other liberal parties in Europe might dream of. In only four years, he and his team of the “Equipo Naranja” (Team Orange, based on the orange colour of the party) further expanded their parliamentary presence and established themselves as liberal-centrist force in Spain. Ciudadanos (Cs) is now the third force nationally and are represented by 57 congressmen and women which is nearly the double compared to the previous elections in 2016 (32). Continue reading

Liberal Breakfast on the Spanish Elections

A joint event series of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom and ALDE Party

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After government only formed in a second election attempt in 2016, Spanish citizens will now cast their vote in a snap election on April 28. Less than one month later, Spaniards will have to vote again for their local, regional and European representatives on May 26.

Campaigning ahead of the Spanish parliamentary elections on 28 April has brought to the fore the many, primarily domestic, challenges that the country faces. Those range from imminent economic issues, such as a new budget, unemployment and public debts, to the political discourse on Catalonia. They also include long-term developments, such as questions on demography and ageing population, as well as immigration. These hot topics will be decisive among Spanish voters in the upcoming elections. Continue reading