J.P. Marín Arrese | This motto struck by Bertrand Russell galvanised those opposed to the nuclear weapons race. In his view, surrendering to communism stood as a less harmful choice than the dire prospect of massive immolation in a new world war. Fortunately, we skipped confronting the bad and worst alternatives Mr Russell thought would inevitably emerge.
Ana Fuentes | Spanish politics has settled on a disturbing calendar. This week the government of the social democrat Pedro Sánchez must clarify whether he will reach an agreement with Unidas Podemos or if he will call elections on November 10. It would be the fourth general election in five years. Time plays against and the feeling of uncertainty weighs more and more each day.
Shaun Riordan | Pedro Sánchez has failed to secure election as Spain´s Prime Minister in the second investiture vote in the Spanish parliament today. He needed only a simple majority. But the break down in negotiations with Podemos, and their decision to abstain, left Sanchez´ socialist party (PSOE) in a minority. The problems between the two parties seem to have centred not on policy but on the distribution of ministerial portfolios in a coalition government. Sanchez conceded that Podemos could hold ministerial positions, but the far left party complained that the portfolios he offered lacked real substance.
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.
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.
Mr Rajoy has appointed his new cabinet ministers on Friday. When we talk about governance in Spain, with what is clearly a minority government, the socialist party’s participation in this future looks inevitable. And only then will we witness its capacity for reinvention and getting past the slogans.
Despite the threats and risks gripping Spanish politics and the economy, it doesn’t seem that foreign investors are particularly worried for the time being. At least that is what the figures for foreign investment in Spain indicated, both in terms of direct and property investment. It looks as if venture capital disbursement in Spanish companies has hardly suffered, not due to a lack of interest but because the operations being considered were not yet mature.
As we have already said there are moments when the economic and political cycles don’t go hand in hand. Yesterday, the investiture of caretaker Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy got underway, with very slight possibilities of his being able to win enough votes to return to office with a majority. But the Ibex 35 blue chip index didn’t even move: in fact it posted a nearly 1% gain.
Alarm bells are sounding across Europe over the possibility of Spain being a year without a government. Even the international press is calling for an end to the political deadlock in its editorials. But the concern has yet to reach the markets: the day before the start of a new investiture process in Spain, which could end in failure, the country’s risk premium remained below 100 basis points and the Ibex 35 blue-chip index lost hardly any ground, in line with the performance of its European peers.
Spain’s caretaker Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy will this afternoon make his investiture speech to parliament, ahead of a key vote on Wednesday to secure support for his conservative Popular Party to form a new government. The PP have already brokered an agreement for breaking the current political deadlock with centre-right party Ciudadanos, led by Catalonian lawyer Alber Rivera. As a result, Rajoy can probably rely on the support of 170 MPs. But he needs 176 votes (out of a total of 350) if the PP is to win an absolute majority.