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We have an Interim cabinet in Spain since December 20th, 2015´ elections. Almost for eight months. In view of the negotiating stance of the main political parties, I think we will continue for another 6 months, since seems like we are pushed to the ballots for the third time.
All the political leaders want to eliminate Mariano Rajoy from the picture, the leader and party PP which won the elections, and the very last time even with a larger majority. There are two alliances to prevent Rajoy becoming PM; one made by PSOE and ´Ciudadanos´. Also there is an unreal leftist alternative among ´Podemos´and PSOE. Pablo Iglesias, leader of the populist party ‘Podemos‘, showed up to remind to PSOE´s leader, Pedro Sanchez, about the historic opportunity for the left wing to rule, other than the PP. Sanchez said that he will assume a constructive opposition but insists that their vote to Mariano Rajoy will be an explicit No, despite of the express request made by the former PM Felipe Gonzalez, during an interview with the Argentine daily Clarin, asking for the PSOE to abstain and allow the rule of Rajoy.
But the PSOE is right in a different political strategy, denying any kind of support to Rajoy, if even the abstention would give stability to the nation and that would allow the cabinet´ formation. Given the fact that the PSOE got the worst results in its history, it is not understandable how are they persisting in such attitude.
Regarding to the centrist party ‘Ciudadanos´, I had not any faith in its leader, Albert Rivera, considering his erratic campaign´ strategy, which has led him to lose eight seats in the second round of the elections on June 26th. But the sign of saying that Ciudadanos would abstain in PM voting of Mariano Rajoy, augured some return to common sense. Since that right decision, Rivera has not done more than grope. Just by the daily press reading, it is obvious that Rivera goes from error to mistake. My prediction is confirmed. The media are baiting ‘Ciudadanos‘ for its leaders´ contradictory statements and political immaturity, who have squandered so quickly the flow of sympathy which they had hoarded. All these leads me to think that ´Ciudadanos´ (Citizens) is slowly immolating in the Spanish political arena. A friend of mine who voted for ´Ciudadanos´, pointed out recently: “This is intolerable: if there is a third election, I´ll vote for the PP.”
The extreme-left populist party, ‘Podemos’, lost in the last election of June 26th an historic opportunity to become an alternative. In the eyes of the voters, they are the new version of the Communist Party, which will never be an option in Spain. If Hugo Chavez raised his head, after having invested so much money in Spain, he would rather die again by the disgust!
Rajoy and Sanchez will meet today for the first time since the King Felipe VI asked Rajoy to be in charge of conforming the new cabinet. The interim PM intends to deliver to the PSOE´ leader a new programmatic document with the coincidences between the PP´s program and those which were included in the covenant signed among Socialists and ´Ciudadanos´ last February. It would be the basis on which to start negotiating in order to be on time to approve the State Budget for the next year, as well as the EU fiscal consolidation´ target, and eventually, to avoid the € 5,000 million´ EU fine and 1,100 million in frozen funds if Spain is without the State Budget by October 15th.
Reaching fall without a cabinet, it would be a disaster. And not just the economic cost. It also would be a great damage to the Spain´ image abroad. It is so ridiculous and nonsense to look at the possibility to go to the ballots for the third time within a year. The political leaders themselves have made clear about their commitment to avoid it. Now they must move from the intend´ declarations to the facts. The Constitutionalists parties´ leaders committed to governance (Podemos has excluded themselves) should act with utmost seriousness and stay out of the political calculations and maneuvers to wear out the opponent. What is at stake is much more important than the partisan political struggle.
The oddest of all is what the well informed people say, ‘There will be the white smoke for sure; otherwise a new election would give to Rajoy a larger majority ‘.