Madrid and Barcelona ungovernable, an endless crisis

Psoe and Podemos veto Rajoy, Mas humiliated by radicals again

29 December, 10:11

    Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, right, talks to  Podemos party leader Pablo Iglesias Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, right, talks to Podemos party leader Pablo Iglesias

    (by Francesco Cerri) (ANSAmed) - MADRID, DECEMBER 29 - Crisis and political paralysis in Madrid as well as a stalling scenario and crisis in Barcelona - Spain and Catalonia are running towards a secession and ending the year amid vetoes and confusion with the prospect of parallel early elections.

    Spain's outgoing Premier Mariano Rajoy, who came in first but without a majority at national elections on December 20, has started a second round of talks with leaders from the two emerging parties, Podemos and Ciudadanos, Pablo Iglesias and Albert Rivera, in an attempt to form a very hypothetical new government. But Iglesias has confirmed a firm 'no' to any hypothesis of a government led by the Partido Popular. And Rivera has not gone beyond a potential abstention to a minority cabinet with Rajoy if the Socialists will adopt the same position. The leader of Psoe Pedro Sanchez, who met with Rajoy on Thursday, has however ruled this out already.

    The situation now appears to be completely blocked. The Pp only has 124 MPs out of 350 in Congress, the Psoe 90, Podemos 69, Ciudadanos 40. The other 27 seats have gone to IU (2), Catalan separatists (18) and Basque nationalists (6) and from the Canaries (1).

    Also, the hypothesis of an alternative government Psoe-Podemos appears for the moment difficult to implement. This is true both in terms of numbers - they would remain under the threshold of 176 lawmakers, majority in Congress, and Ciudadanos said they will vote against a government with Iglesias; and also because Podemos has set as a condition a referendum for the independence of Catalonia opposed by the Socialists. Also, Sanchez's position is shaky within the Psoe - and Iglesias today accused him of ''play acting'' - as he is opposed by territorial barons led by the powerful Susana Diaz, president of Andalusia, who oppose an alliance with Podemos and are asking for a congress at the end of February, possibly giving Diaz the leadership.

    Crisis and confusion link Madrid and Barcelona. The Catalonia of outgoing president Artur Mas, who is pro-independence, is still without a government three months after a regional vote on September 27. The two separatist lists of Mas (67 seats out of 135) - who wants independence by 2017 - and the anti-system Cup (10) have the absolute majority in the parliament of Barcelona.

    But the radicals have so far refused to vote the reelection of 'middle class' Mas.

    Yesterday, at a mini congress 3,030 delegates split in half, with 1,515 supporting Mas and the other 1,515 in favor of a 'no'. In an atmosphere that increasingly resembles a farce, everything has been postponed to January 2. This is a new humiliation for Mas, a symbol of the fight for independence, charged with 'rebellion' by the judiciary in Madrid. Mas lost many votes at the Spanish political elections with voters turning to Podemos. If on the 9th Catalonia will still be without a president, it will have to return to vote. Perhaps when Spanish political elections will have to be repeated - if no magic formula will be found in Madrid to get out of an apparently unsolvable crisis.(ANSAmed).

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