The Economist Intelligence Unit has published the 11th edition of its ranking on the global state of democracy. Of 165 countries in the world, Spain is ranked 19th for the quality of its democracy. It is not bad given the political instability Spain is experiencing. Nor the open breach in confidence following the crisis between citizens and politicians and citizens and economic powers. Nor taking into account Spaniard’ s tendency to self-flagellation.
The elections in Andalucia have revolutionised Spanish politics with the the worst ever results for the socialist party (PSOE), which has been governing this autonomous community without interruption since 1978, and the entrance of the far right, in the form of the new party Vox, in the Spanish political map.
Spain has gone almost three years without a government with a parliamentary majority. The worst part is that there is nothing on the horizon that would guarantee more stability. To this already very complicated panorama must be added that the Supreme Court has been incapable of arbitrating a solution acceptable for Spanish society about who should pay mortgage stamp duty.
Following the series of articles by William Chislett which The Corner is going to publish on the 40th anniversary if the Spanish Constitution, today we are dedicating to know the intricacies of Spain’s political life during these years of democracy. Between 1982-2015, this was dominated by two parties, the conservative Popular Party (PP) and the Socialists. They alternated in power until two upstart parties, centrist Ciudadanos (Citizens) and the populist-left Podemos (We Can) won a significant number of seats in parliament.
J.P. Marín- Arrese | The Spanish government has released its main budgetary lines, in a rather unusual and surprising way. For, it holds responsible the former PP Cabinet for most of the expenses plus a sizeable deviation from the deficit goal in 2018. The least one can say is that such a baffling message underlines its inability to curb the imbalance while enjoying power for the second half of this year.
J. P. Marín- Arrese | Undoubtedly, former astronaut Pedro Duque enjoys ample recognition for his past feats. His nomination to the R&D Cabinet portfolio was widely praised and welcomed, even if he confessed his utter lack of experience for the job. Thus, news on his dubious record as a taxpayer came as a nasty shock. He has acknowledged setting up a company to hold his own home and a beach resort dwelling where he spent his holidays, thus reducing his tax bill.
There have always been two debates about the Spanish Public Television: financing and the nomination of its board which, in theory, should govern it. Experience says that it doesnt govern it, that the board is a scene for political party confrontation which adds no value, on the contrary.
Luis Alcaide | Pedro Sánchez will be monitored from every corner to see if he can count on the collaboration of a Spanish administration more independent than in the past. He will have to manage budgetary imbalances and growth of public debt. Furthermre, his fellow citizens rate corruption, after unemployment, their greatest concern.
Guy Hedgecoe | Fixation with electoral numbers is one of the most unhealthy obsessions of contemporary Spanish politics. It’s a mindset that places enormous emphasis on victory at the ballot box, in the belief that it will bring with it not just political power, but moral righteousness.
Fernando G. Urbaneja | Mariano Rajoy has left the Moncloa to be replaced by the socialist leader Pedro Sanchez, who 10 days before couldn´t have imagined a substitution so rapid or so brutal. However, Spain’s problems remain: whether the demands for Catalan independence and other nationalist forces that threaten the constitution and national unity, or the urgent need for profound reforms in the welfare system and the management of public accounts, threatened by the deficit and the debt.