Spanish Politics


Spain loses its bearings: up to 18 months in jail for killing a rat

The Animal Welfare Law promoted by Minister Ione Belarra and approved in Congress with the votes of PSOE, Podemos, ERC and Bildu has introduced an important change in the Spanish Penal Code by changing the term ‘domestic animal’ to ‘vertebrate animal’. A vertebrate animal is any animal that has bones and an articulated skeleton or backbone. Now, under the new law, striking, injuring or killing a vertebrate animal will be…

tunnel light end

Wide trains as a symptom

Fernando González Urbaneja | The case of the trains that do not fit in the tunnels is a significant anecdote both of a huge, astonishing error in design and commissioning, and of the absence of explanations and a coherent account of what happened. What we do know is confusing and the laments of the regional presidents affected are insufficient to understand the case. The comments from the ministry and ADIF…

LNG regasification ship

Spanish imports of Russian gas up 54% in 2022

Natural gas imports from Algeria to Spain plummeted by 40% in 2022, with Algeria falling to second place among suppliers and representing 23.9% of Spain’s total. These figures, according to sources in the sector, will continue to fall during this year, 2023, as “orders placed during the first months of 2022 for natural gas, before relations between Moncloa and Algiers broke down, have yet to be deducted”. And if this…

Renfe CAF

New commuter trains for northern Spain too big for tunnels

Renfe is delaying by up to three years the construction of 31 commuter trains for 258 million euros, to be used on ‘Cercanías’ lines mainly in Cantabria, but also in Asturias, Euskadi, Galicia, Castilla y León and Murcia. The thirty or so trains that Renfe promised in 2020 will be delayed by at least three years due to a miscalculation in the dimensions of the convoys, which means that they…


Public administration does not work

Fernando González Urbaneja | Public systems are not working; waiting lists in hospitals are lengthening; primary care services are collapsing; and Social Security and SEPES offices are not responding… Miguel Valverde one of the best informed journalists on pensions and labour relations describes in Monday’s Expansión what he calls the “Colapso de la Seguridad Social”. It is impossible to get an appointment by telephone or in person. This has been…

pedro sanchez

A government opposed to employers and profits

Fernando González Urbaneja | This is nothing new. Placing successful entrepreneurs and corporate profits as targets of electoral political debate has been part of the agenda of more than a few political parties, especially the most extreme ones, both on the right and on the left. The novelty now in Spain is that the president of the government and of the socialist party is taking up this argument as one…

pedro sanchez preocupado

Sánchez goes to Rabat, Mohamed VI calls him from Gabon

Mohamed VI’s approach to Pedro Sánchez tarnishes the High Level Meeting (HLM) between Morocco and Spain, which La Moncloa expected to be “historic”. The Alaouite monarch did not receive the President of the Government yesterday on his arrival in Rabat for a bilateral summit that had not been held in this way for eight years, and limited himself to dealing with diplomatic formalities via a phone call from Gabon. Over…


Populist Sánchez announces new increase in minimum wage (€1,080), blames employers for Spaniards’ loss of purchasing power

“Let’s talk in depth about what the two processes are that have led to the loss of purchasing power by the middle and working class in our country. The first process is that real wages have been falling for more than a decade”, the president explained yesterday in his debate with Nuñez Feijóo, leader of the opposition, adding that “big companies do not raise their employees’ wages by a single…


The “Yolanda effect”: labour inspectors strike for the first time in their history

The Labour Inspectorate has been the latest collective to join the protests of public employees – those of employees of Social Security, the Public Employment Service, the Tax Agency, the Health Service, the lawyers of the Justice Department… -The government has failed to comply with the agreement signed in July 2021, in which it promised to solve the serious staff shortages and the lack of professional careers in the agency….


Drifting from ‘No is No’ to ‘Yes is Yes’

J.P. Marín-Arrese | When the Spanish elections in 2016 delivered a hung Parliament, Pedro Sánchez stubbornly challenged the only potential right-wing candidacy able to set up a minority Government. His resistance led to a protracted stalemate, leaving another fresh poll as the only way out. Fearing a crushing defeat in that bid, the Socialist party ousted Sánchez and allowed Mariano Rajoy to snatch the Premiership. Only a handful of loyal…