Spain's Socialists deeply divided
With new parliamentary elections slated for December Spain's Socialists are embroiled in a crisis. Half of the party's executive committee resigned on Wednesday because party leader Pedro Sánchez still refuses to cooperate with a conservative PP government. For Spain's commentators the row is symptomatic of the many problems Europe's left faces.
Europe's left at a crossroads
For sociologist Jorge Galindo the trench warfare among Spain's Socialists mirrors the European left's struggle to reorient. In El País he writes:
“Two different visions of the role social democratic parties should play in the West's new political landscape are pitched against each other. … One option is to collaborate with the centre and centre-right, or even occupy it and forge a bloc for stability and reforms. Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi stands for this course. The counterargument points in the opposite direction: any pact with the elite is a betrayal, and it is therefore the duty of social democracy to distance itself rather than moving closer to the centre-right. …. Pedro Sánchez has decided to adopt Corbyn's strategy in this conflict.”
Left-wing populists rubbing their hands in glee
The populist left-wing parties will benefit from the Spanish Socialists' self-flagellation, El Mundo worries:
“Pedro Sánchez may soon be history for PSOE. But the wounds of this combat will take time to heal. And this is the worst thing that can happen to the Socialists at a time when social democracy - challenged by left-wing populism - is under revision throughout Europe. PSOE lost almost half its votes between 2008 and 2016. It would be dramatic for Spain if it ceased to be the party of reference on the left because of the frivolity of its leaders. There is still time to seek a civilised solution and avoid a deadly duel like the ones in Wild West movies.”