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Renewed deadlock in Spain

The leader of the People’s Party, Mariano Rajoy, lost two confidence votes in the Spanish Parliament this week with 170 votes in favour and 180 against. Spain will therefore continue to have an interim government after eight months of political standstill and amid growing speculation over a possible new election on Christmas Day. “I am not asking you to form a coalition, I am asking you to let me govern”, said Mariano Rajoy to the Socialist leader, Pedro Sánchez during a debate in Madrid. The PSOE, the radical left-wing coalition Unidos Podemos and the Catalan and Basque nationalists voted against the PP government plans, which had the support of liberal Ciutadans (C’s). But despite calls from Podemos´ leader in favour of an alternative left-wing coalition, the PSOE is unlikely to accept, as such a government would need the support of pro-independence parties in Catalonia.

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31 August 2016 03:48 PM

by

ACN

Barcelona (CNA).- The leader of the People’s Party, Mariano Rajoy, lost two confidence votes in the Spanish Parliament this week with 170 votes in favour and 180 against. Spain will therefore continue to have an interim government after eight months of political standstill and amid growing speculation over a possible new election on Christmas Day. “I am not asking you to form a coalition, I am asking you to let me govern”, said Mariano Rajoy to the Socialist leader, Pedro Sánchez during a debate in Madrid. The PSOE, the radical left-wing coalition Unidos Podemos and the Catalan and Basque nationalists voted against the PP government plans, which have the support of liberal Ciutadans (C’s).

 


The leader of the PP and presidential hopeful Mariano Rajoy urged the Socialists to abstain in his confidence vote. “I ask for some responsibility”, said Rajoy, pointing out that Spain is living in “exceptional” times and needs a government as soon as possible.

The leader of liberal C’s, Albert Rivera, said that he prefers a PP government controlled by Parliament than a third general election in December and urged the PSOE to use their MPs to “legislate, not to block” the country.

But the right-wing parties’ words fell on deaf ears, as the socialist leader, Pedro Sánchez, reiterated that he does not trust Rajoy and accused his party of being involved in several corruption scandals. “We are not going to abstain in front of corruption. You cannot be trusted”, said Sánchez to Rajoy.

The proposed conservative government doesn’t have enough support in the Spanish Parliament, and that’s why Podemos leader, Pablo Iglesias, has urged Sánchez to try an alternative option. “You should decide”, he said to him, opening the door to a left-wing coalition. However, such a government is unlikely considering that it would need the support of pro-independence parties in Catalonia.

The PSOE, although it has been able to work with Podemos in several regional and local governments, rejects one of the main electoral promises of this radical left-wing party: the celebration of an independence referendum in Catalonia. A compromise to hold such a vote could give both Podemos and the PSOE the support of the 17 pro-Catalan independence MPs and probably that of the Basque nationalists, enough to win a confidence vote.

In fact, the spokesman of left-wing pro-independence ERC, Joan Tardà, said during his speech in the Spanish Congress that Pedro Sánchez would be President today had he accepted a referendum after the December Spanish election. “If you are willing to repeal the most reactionary laws of the PP, if you are willing to put forward social democratic economic policies and if you are willing to authorise a referendum, you can count on us”, said Tardà to Sánchez. “If you lead an alternative option and accept these three conditions we will vote yes to your investiture”, he added.

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  • The leader of the PP, Mariano Rajoy, during his confidence vote in the Spanish Parliament (by ACN)

  • The leader of the PP, Mariano Rajoy, during his confidence vote in the Spanish Parliament (by ACN)