Shaun Riordan | The other oddity of the debate was the almost complete absence of policy. Many commentators have already noted the absence of economic policy from the election campaign. Last night there was no mention of health or the key issue of further reform of the labour market.
Spanish PM Pedro Sánchez called snap elections for April 28th after holding an extraordinary cabinet meeting in Madrid. The ballot follows Sanchez’s defeat in parliament over his 2019 fiscal plans. Madrid avoids May 26 “Super Sunday,” with local, regional and EU elections the same day.
Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez this Wednesday will attend a meeting organised by the American Chamber of Commerce in Spain (AmChamSpain) during the General Assembly of the UN, together with over 20 leaders of major multinationals, US banks and major investment funds. At the moment, Sánchez has already had the opportunity to greet US President Trump.
From 2019 it is possible that Spain will have difficulties financing its public debt, which is definitely not only the official figure of 98.3% of GDP. Rajoy’s increase of this debt by €649 billion has been financed at very low interest rates, thanks to the ECB’s quantitative easing. On the other hand, Pedro Sánchez has announced substantial spending increases, which will inevitably increase debt in 2019.
Shaun Riordan | The motion of censure against Spanish Prime Minister and the election of socialist leader Sanchez as his successor has briefly spooked markets. But in the end it may make less difference than it seems at first sight.
Fernando G. Urbaneja | The Spanish parliament has suddenly and unexpectedly used a constitutional motion of censure against the government of Rajoy to elect a new government. The new government returns Spain to the ancient ghosts of the first third of the 20th century: multi-party and fractured coalitions.
Shaun Riordan | The fate of Spanish Prime Minister Rajoy was in the end settled by the five votes of the Basque Nationalist Party (PNV). Until yesterday´s debate in the Congress, Rajoy was confident that the Basques, who last week voted in favour of the 2018 budget, would abstain. This would have denied socialist leader of the absolute majority he needed to eject Rajoy from the Moncloa Palace. But this time the Basque Nationalist Party had other priorities.
Some things never seem to change and the Spanish left’s inability to unite against the right has looked like one of them. The two general elections and months of political paralysis Spain lived through between December 2015 and October 2016 saw the PSOE and Podemos locked in a battle for control of the left which turned poisonous at times and allowed the PP’s Mariano Rajoy to stay in power simply by doing what he does best – sitting back and watching.
The PSOE party, with 137 years of history, has already had four leaders so far this century, none of whom have consolidated their position. That said, Rodriguez Zapatero succeeded in heading up two relative majority governments and two minority administrations between 2004 and 2012.
MADRID | By Fernando G. Urbaneja | Still digesting their historic-low European election results, the Spanish socialists (PSOE) are trying to recover people’s trust by publishing their accounting in a quarterly report. This is the least that we can ask from parties, trade unions, employers and any others living on the State and the taxpayers. Without passing any law, the PSOE –who lost millions of votes in the last general polls- is taking the lead amid corruption scandals affecting numerous Spanish public figures.