One step forward, two steps back in quest for Spanish government

FEBRUARY 24 saw two major occurrences in the quest for a workable government in Spain.

Firstly, in the morning, Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE) leader Pedro Sanchez and Ciudadanos leader Albert Rivera announced that they had signed an agreement for what they described a “reformist, progressive government”.

At a press conference following the brief signing ceremony, Mr. Rivera said he did not rule out entering a PSOE-led government and that the deal would launch “a new phase of politics that demands solutions to Spaniards’ main problems”.

During a separate press conference, Pedro Sánchez said the two parties had not agreed which party would hold which post but described it as a “historic” deal for government, saying “It is the first step, even if it is not enough, towards a government of change next week.”

Unsurprisingly, not everyone was happy about this and later in the afternoon, Podemos deputy Iñigo Errejon tweeted that the agreement was: “a deal that doesn’t add up. A question that doesn’t ask. An opportunity that could disappear before us”.

At the same time, the Popular Party tweeted that the deal was “an agreement of political fiction: Pedro Sanchez and Albert Rivera do not add up and nor will they add up for the vote of confidence”, meaning of course that they had insufficient seats between them to win a vote of confidence.

Then at a press conference Podemos said that they were suspending negotiations with PSOE as they have always said that they would not enter into a government which included Ciudadanos.

With Podemos refusing to meet further with PSOE and the PP making it clear that they will not abstain from the vote of confidence, it does seem that matter is nearing its conclusion and the most likely outcome will be a further election in June of this year.

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