Sánchez aiming for a left-wing governing coalition

Spain's Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez has presented his government programme. He has made substantial concessions to the left-wing Podemos party to get them to form a coalition with his Socialist Workers' party. The election winner is also hoping that several partially separatist regional parties will abstain. If he falls short of the majority he needs, new elections may have to be called. Can this end well?

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ABC (ES) /

A patchwork coalition

An unstable government that depends on concessions to the left is not what Spain needs, warns ABC:

“Even if Sánchez manages to tame the [left-wing party] Podemos and lure its leading couple [Pablo Iglesias and Irene Montero] closer to the conservative camp, all he will have achieved is a minority government that is deeply dependent on those who have already blackmailed him over the budget and then left him in the lurch. Sánchez must realise that his measures are damaging for the Spaniards, that Spain doesn't need him as the messiah he pretends to be, that the government he aspires to will be plagued by weakness, and that a coalition with Podemos could lead to a short and conflict-ridden legislative period”

El Mundo (ES) /

When red lines run through the political centre

The rigid ideologies of the parties are making it impossible to create a stable government pact, political scientist José Ignacio Torreblanca surmises in El Mundo:

“Many saw the end of the two-party system as the beginning of a period of political regeneration achieved through transparency, ethics and accountability. ... But these hopes have been dashed. Instead of an open and pluralist political spectrum we got a party system characterised by two unyielding blocs that refuse to communicate with each other. Instead of drawing red lines that exclude the parties on the extremes (left, right and territorial), the red lines run right through the political centre, deepening the polarisation and obstructing the major pacts that society demands.”