Spain: what is Sanchéz's problem with Podemos?

Four and a half months after its parliamentary elections Spain still has no government. Pedro Sánchez, the leader of the Socialists (PSOE) who won the election, needs the votes of the alternative left-wing party Podemos to be elected as prime minister. But Podemos is demanding ministerial posts in return for its support, while Sánchez refuses to form a coalition with the party. With the prospect of new elections looming once more, commentators discuss why Sánchez doesn't want the alliance.

Open/close all quotes
La Vanguardia (ES) /

No way to treat negotiating partners

For La Vanguardia it's clear who bears the blame for the debacle:

“It's true that these are difficult circumstances: Sánchez is stuck in a devilish labyrinth and the electoral mathematics have left all sides very weak. Achieving a majority would appear to be a Titanic task, and no one can blame the Socialist leader for this. But, without being responsible for the circumstances, he is guilty of completely mismanaging the situation. The PSOE can't spend all day reprimanding Podemos, first of all because it's up to the Socialists to convince potential coalition partners to form an alliance, not the other way round. ... And if the elections are repeated only PSOE will be to blame. You can't constantly attack the very negotiating partner whose support you want.”

El País (ES) /

Perhaps Brussels is behind distrust

Perhaps the external pressure is preventing the Socialists and Podemos from reaching an agreement, El País speculates:

“Some say the new government in Italy is partly the result of pressure from the G7 and Brussels, who saw this as a way to scare off the neofascists. There are also rumours that the same institutions would veto Sánchez if he tried to incorporate Unidas Podemos into the government. ... So the mutual mistrust between Sánchez and Iglesias is perhaps based more on circumstances such as these than on personal reasons. ... The only rational way to secure a stable, progressive government is to be open to the formation of a coalition. If it does not materialise, Sánchez will bear the responsibility.”