A new government for Spain
Caretaker prime minister Pedro Sánchez failed to gain an absolute majority in parliament on Sunday. Another round of voting is to be held on Tuesday in which a simple majority will suffice. The abstinence of the Basque regionalists and the Catalan separatists as well as a coalition with Unidas Podemos looks set to secure Sánchez's victory. The press takes a sceptical view of developments.
Blackmailable by enemies of the constitution
For the centralist daily ABC Sánchez being elected with the help of the separatists is a disaster:
“Thus begins the first social-communist government of our democracy: with the grave additional problem of being subject to blackmailing by parties that want to destroy Spain and abolish the constitutional framework that has prevailed since 1978. ... Sánchez had the choice between parties that respect the law regardless of the ideological differences and the parties that spell political disaster and pitch one half of Spain against the other. And his choice was clear.”
A flawed left-wing coalition
Writing in El País, journalist and author Jorge M. Reverte is incensed that only photographers and camera teams but not journalists who ask questions were invited to the signing of the coalition programme between the Socialists and Unidas Podemos:
“These two politicians [Pedro Sánchez and Pablo Iglesias] who claim they want to be highly transparent are off to a bad start. There is no excuse for this. Only half the usual number of people witnessed the signing of their joint programme, almost like at a celebrity wedding. We citizens were shown the hugs between Sánchez and Iglesias but not any critical questions that could have helped understand why they had forgiven each other's previous comments. ... I hope that this was due to the noble sentiment of laziness and not disregard for the citizens' right to information.”
Risky departure from consensus of the centre
The fact that the government majority could depend on the hard left and separatist forces goes against voters' wishes, El Mundo rails:
“The move towards the extremes of the political spectrum is a historical mistake on the part of the Socialists that contradicts the will of the people. The democracy that has emerged from the transition is the product of consensus. This is why government pacts are always forged from a centre that is able to preserve the pillars that support the architecture of the 1978 Constitution. The majority of Spaniards want moderate policies, balance and a willingness to negotiate. It's worrying that our political class, starting with Mr Sánchez himself, is incapable of fulfilling this mandate.”
Can these promises be financed?
The planned measures are so costly that their viability is questionable, La Vanguardia notes:
“The programme is a clear shift to the left and will undoubtedly shake up public opinion. Tax hikes for high earners, the partial abolition of the labour market reform, rent regulation and the plan to stop including marks in religious education in the school grade average are the most important decisions. We shall see what promises can really be implemented, because there are so many commitments to increase spending on culture, education, the environment and social policy that the budget won't suffice for everything. It will also be necessary to wait and see whether all the measures announced by the pact will also secure the political backing they need in the Congress.”