Meanwhile in

Meanwhile in… Spain

Politicians failed again to form a coalition in Spain. As a result Spanish citizens might have elections for the third time in a year this Christmas. They have been without a government for more than 250 days.
Carina Nieuwenweg

Comments by Sergio Llamas Sobrino Msc student Biotechnology

‘Spanish politicians are not used at all to discuss and make pacts, which is a common practice in the rest of Europe. Usually one party was ruling with absolute majority. This time 180 parliamentarians voted against the government proposition of the Partido Popular or PP, the party that has been ruling for the past term. For a majority they need 176 votes. Negotiations between the socialist party PSOE and PODEMOS (new left) are also not going well. PODEMOS and the PP have interest in repeating elections, hoping for better results. In the current term, they still have some time to build an alternative government opposite to the PP, so let’s expect they are able to do it since elections for the third time would be pointless since no different outcome is predicted. I think the main lesson from this, is that government formation should be elected directly by citizens in a system like the Swiss collegiate government. Not having a government is inconvenient but it is very good to have a strong opposition able to control and stop the dispurposses of any ruling party. In the end there are several reasons why the PP (former ruling party) has lost its support. First tons of corruption cases and second it is one of the most regressive governments we ever had in this democracy. With taxes increase and tremendous budgets cuts on welfare. Imagine this in a context of 25% unemployment, 50% young unemployment and growing poverty and inequality. The political crisis in 2011 started a political and cultural wave claiming for new ways of policy making and more direct democracy. This is simply incompatible with how traditional parties worked. At least, everybody is discussing politics constantly which is a real improvement compared to the past indifference.’

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