Spanish Politics


CGPJ: The Problem Is Not One Of Procedure

Fernando González Urbaneja | The deadlock to renew the institutions (more than a thousand days of delay in the CGPJ) indicates that the quality of Spanish democracy is mediocre. And it is not because of the regulated procedures, but because of the application of those procedures by the responsible (or rather irresponsible) politicians. Those in government (socialists and partners) accuse the opposition of being unconstitutional. Meanwhile, the latter’s response is…


All-Or-Nothing Politics

Fernando González Urbaneja | Politics is the art of the possible; democracy requires mediation, containment, explanation, persuasion, convincing… None of this characterises Spanish politics, which are sliding towards the opposite, towards the impossible, towards exaggeration, simplification and polarisation. Politics based on brinkmanship (all or nothing) instead of pragmatic possibilism, gradualism, is heading for failure. The PP requires the PSOE (Casado to Sánchez) with non-negotiable demands to renew the institutions. And…


A Mediator For The General Council Of The Judiciary

Fernando González Urbaneja | In Europe we know of cases where governments have been blocked for up to a year or more and states have continued to function reasonably normally. The Netherlands, Belgium, Italy and even Germany have maintained deadlocks to form coalition governments for many months. The same happened in Spain during the electoral agony/anomaly of 2019, so we already have experience. But these difficulties being transferred from the…


The Judiciary In The Pillory

Fernando González Urbaneja | Pablo Iglesias is not in government, but his objectives are still on course. As he himself explained, his immediate political action should focus on weakening two powers: the Crown and “los togados”, the judiciary. In his opinion the latter is in the hands of Francoist reactionaries who must be subjugated. His thesis is that the judiciary should be subordinated to the executive, to the will of…

emerging pedro

The Government, Suspended In Legality

Fernando G. Urbaneja | The Constitutional Court has declared unconstitutional the Government’s implementation of the State of Alarm to decree the confinements… An old principle of good government (and of journalism) dictates that when in doubt it is advisable to abstain. In other words, to behave prudently, because there is no better solution to a problem than to avoid it. There was a risk of unconstitutionality in the alarm decrees, warned of from the outset; opinions were divided amongst constitutionalists, but there were well-founded expectations that it was not the right rule. It was not, narrowly, by 6 votes to 5. But the majority decided the chosen rule was not constitutional and that there was no appeal and no way back.


Casado Needs An Advisor

Fernando G. Urbaneja | The leader of the PP, Pablo Casado, is floundering as head of the opposition between the harsh discourse (with one eye on VOX) and the responsible one, with the other eye on Moncloa. He wants to appear as a reliable leader to govern, but also as a tough guy in the face of his adversaries. And little by little, he is sliding more towards the latter…

The Spanish government quells investors’ worries

Sánchez: 38 Ministers In 37 Months

Fernando González Urbaneja | Pedro Sánchez has completed three years at the head of the government after success in a no confidence vote and two general elections, with sufficient majorities following coalitions of varying intensity with other groups on the left. Over the course of 37 months he has appointed 38 people to ministerial portfolios, some with long and novel names. He has had ministers for days, months and just over a year. Of the initial seven he has seven left, and tomorrow he receives another seven newly appointed. There is no precedent for such ministerial combustion.

Alberto Garzón

The T-bone Steak Debate, Awesome!

Fernando González Urbaneja | Nutrition, the correct and recommended nutrition to preserve health, deserves a debate and an ambitious, high-level strategy. Michelle Obama dedicated a good part of her activism as “second lady” to this cause, correct infant nutrition. It was not with an occasional video and a few colourful statements, but she also proposed a strategy and a policy of greater range and scope. And from international organisations, especially…

Sanchez Biden

Sánchez Tries To See Biden On His First Official Trip To The US

José Hervás (Capital Madrid) | The Spanish lobby in Washington still hopes the President of the United States will finally meet Pedro Sánchez. But for now, Joe Biden has no plans to meet the head of the Spanish Government at the White House on his first official trip to the United States, from the 20th to the 24th of this month. There will not even be a brief meeting in…

Just Sanchez

Sánchez’s Credibility

Congress made it clear on Tuesday that the President’s credibility is very low He has reduced the internal socialist opposition but his parliamentary and government allies, those who support him, have little appreciation for him. They support him out of necessity, to avoid worse evils and can leave him alone when it suits them. Without credibility, he will not get very far, not the day-to-day, beyond a minimal agreement on pensions that has the sole merit of pure agreement, the scenography in the Moncloa for show. Dialogue is an instrumental value, it serves to reach agreements and underpin credibility. And there is very little evidence of this.