How Spain could get a new government after all

After his failed attempt to form a government in Spain, Socialist leader Pedro Sánchez has until September to reach a deal or new elections will be convoked. Sánchez failed to secure the votes he needed for a new government after his party was unable to agree with Podemos on the distribution of ministerial posts. Commentators hope there is still room for compromise.

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El País (ES) /

Why Portugal has the edge on us

In view of the difficulties with forming a government in Spain many are calling for the Portuguese model of a minority Socialist government with stable backing from the left-wing parties to be copied. But that's no easy thing, El País comments:

“Spain's election results were different from those in Portugal but both have one thing in common: if the left doesn't stay united it won't be able to govern. ... The Portuguese example of dialogue apparently didn't help much in the debate about who would become head of government. It's even possible that the Portuguese will have a new government before we do [after the elections in October]. ... There are many reasons - including separatism - that make it difficult for us to copy our neighbours, but there are certain things we can copy: patience (when it comes to reaching a pact among various partners), endurance (for adhering to the pact for four years) and an absence of egotism among politicians.”

Le Soir (BE) /

Stubbornness leads nowhere

Joan Canadell, President of the Barcelona Chamber of Commerce and member of the separatist party Crida Nacional per la República, explains in Le Soir who in his view is taking a constructive attitude to forming a government and who is not:

“The negative attitude of the government under Pedro Sánchez, who didn't even want to talk with the Catalan regional president Quim Torra, renders any form of stability impossible and is in stark contrast with the continual calls for dialogue of the independentist parties, which have demonstrated their true sense of responsibility in trying to promote a harmonious solution. Last week's failed investiture of a head of government in Spain is leading us into a conflict with a clear start but a very uncertain end.”

Deutschlandfunk (DE) /

No practice in forging coalitions

The Spanish obviously have no idea how to conduct coalition talks, scoffs ARD correspondent Oliver Neuroth in Deutschlandfunk:

“Namely, behind closed doors and not at the lectern or in TV interviews. And it's also a bad idea to only start talks two or three weeks before voting, as in this particular case. Sanchez and Iglesias lost two valuable months following the parliamentary elections. If, that is, they were actually pursuing a coalition at all - which many political observers doubt. But how should these party leaders know how such things work? Spain hasn't had a ruling coalition since the end of the dictatorship. Conservatives and socialists have generally ruled with absolute majorities. Pacts, which have been the norm in Germany for decades, have never been necessary in Spain.”

Gazeta Wyborcza (PL) /

Catalonia dispute is crippling Spain

The Catalonia issue is to blame for the blockade, Gazeta Wyborcza believes:

“The Socialists, like the entire right, based their position on Spain's constitution from the outset and spoke out against the Catalan referendum, while Podemos supported it. This fierce battle over Catalonia has preoccupied the parliamentary parties to such an extent that the three-day debate aimed at forming a government completely lost sight of the key topics that Prime Minister Sánchez had named as his main goals: job market reforms (banning junk contracts), investing in the technological revolution and supervising digital platforms, fighting global warming, developing new energy sources, fighting inequality and strengthening the European Union.”

La Vanguardia (ES) /

Not another snap election!

The pressure will force both partners to reach an agreement, La Vanguardia hopes:

“Two left-wing parties are disappointing their voters, prolonging the uncertainty and inflicting wounds on themselves that will take a long time to heal. ... There is still a little time left to correct this error and avoid what would be the fourth parliamentary elections since 2015 - an impossible rhythm that shows how unwilling the the political parties are to compromise. The Socialists and Unidas Podemos should bear in mind that a repeat of the elections could be very damaging for them.”

Neue Zürcher Zeitung (CH) /

The left is failing - the right exulting

Spain is heading for new elections and a right-wing government, Neue Zürcher Zeitung believes:

“After its defeat in April an election victory is now in reach for the Spanish right, in November if not before. Their voters will likely march out en masse to the polling stations. The wave of national or nationalist fervour still has a long way to go before it ebbs - after all, the country must be defended against the Catalan separatists. Among the disappointed voters on the left, however, voter turnout will be low. If the three right-wing parties form a strategic pact and coordinate their candidates, between them they can win an absolute majority in parliament.”