Sunday, January 24, 2016

No further forward

Time drags on and still we do not have a new government in Spain.

It was the PP that gained the most votes in the December election and therefore the most seats but if they cannot garner enough support elsewhere, then they have no chance of returning to power.

On Friday, Mariano Rajoy told the king that he was unable to form a government because he lacked support from other parties. That leaves the PSOE and Pedro Sánchez with the opportunity to form a socialist coalition. The obvious grouping would be with Podemos but, even with their support along with allied groups, the socialists would only have 159 seats - well short of the 176 required. That leaves them looking to convince the Catalan and Basque nationalist parties to either support them or abstain.

To further complicate matters, it seems that even the PSOE and Podemos are not necessarily on the same page. Pablo Iglesias, leader of Podemos, had a Whatspp message from Pedro Sánchez to say that they would "talk" over the weekend but as yet that has not been followed up.

Political parties have to remain true to their supporters. We saw what happened to the Liberal Democrats in Britain when they formed a coalition with the Conservatives. Their policies were either watered down or abandoned which lead to huge losses at the next election. None of the parties in Spain seem prepared to take that risk.

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