Southern Europe's left

  5 Debates

After months of political stalemate in which the parties were unable to agree on a government the Spaniards will return to the polling booths this Sunday. Polls show the left-wing alliance Unidos Podemos gaining ground but there is still no sign of a clear majority. Will the election bring Spain forwards?

Spain has been without a government since the parliamentary elections on December 20. The Socialist leader Pedro Sánchez has announced that his attempt to form a majority with Podemos and Ciudadanos has failed. Everything points to new elections on June 26. Commentators are annoyed at the politicians' incompetence.

The centre-right politician Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa has been elected as Portugal's new president after winning enough votes in the first round on Sunday to avoid a run-off. Commentators see Rebelo de Sousa as a counterpart to the new left-wing government and a mediator between the political camps.

The left-wing Syriza party won the general election a year ago with the promise to put an end to the austerity policy. Today Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has implemented many of the creditors' reforms and terms. Commentators take stock.

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has criticised Germany's role in Europe as too dominant. "Europe has to serve all 28 countries, not just one," he said to the Financial Times on Monday. Renzi has taken up the fight against Germany's anachronistic austerity policy, some commentators write approvingly. Others dismiss his criticism as a cheap way of gaining votes.