State of emergency: Spain's government seeks majority

Spain's left-wing minority government under Socialist Prime Minister Sánchez is having increasing difficulties securing a majority in parliament for prolonging the state of emergency coronavirus measures. The government had promised to cancel its predecessors' labour market reform in exchange for the abstention of six MPs from the Basque separatist party (Bildu) in the next vote, but then just a few hours later the cabinet backpaddled. Is this what a stable government looks like?

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ABC (ES) /

Who's the boss here?

Spain needs a stable government that won't let itself be blackmailed by the small regional parties PNV and Bildu (Basque Country) or ERC (Catalonia) and its junior coalition partner Unidas Podemos, ABC comments in annoyance:

“Sánchez's continuous political shell game has taken on unacceptable proportions, to the point that those who have kept him in power until now should immediately abandon him. ... How can it be that Sánchez wants to concentrate government power in the capital yet one day it's the PNV who is in charge, the next the ERC, the next Bildu, and always [Unidos Podemos leader] Iglesias?” (ES) /

Credibility down to zero

In the long run, the government's tactical manoeuvring will drive away its supporters, the left-wing website fears:

“What is really serious is that the government's credibility has hit rock-bottom low at a time when it already lacks support and every vote in parliament makes its weakness even more obvious. It is these problems and the allies - both the reliable ones and the temporary - that Sánchez must deal with if he wants to extend the state of emergency for a sixth time beyond 7 June. ... They have shot themselves in the foot, and the consequences of the resulting damage will be apparent in the next vote.”