Crisis in Spain – a letter from San Sebastian

Οur friend and member of the Delphi Initiative, former MEP Inaki Irazabalbeitia has send the following letter to the editorial board concerning political events in Spain


Spain: new elections next June 26th?

By Inaki Irazabalbeitia, former MEP

The clock needles of Spanish politics advance restless towards May 2sd, but there is no sign that a new government could be arranged before that date. Then, the race to new legislative elections would start. Meanwhile Spanish citizens assist to a kind of political vaudeville where each of the parties tries to blame another the guilt of new elections.

The ‘Panama papers’ are, as well, one the ingredients of the Spanish corruption story. Energy minister, Jose Manuel Soria, has been forced to resign because off his ties with offshore companies and lying about it. The sister of former King Juan Carlos, Pilar de Borbon, was the president of an offshore company in Panama that was dissolved on the same day the King abdicated, June 2, 2014. An indication that Pilar was working on the behalf of her brother?

Two civil society organizations that pretended to be fighting both corruption and mismanagement in the finance sector have been accused of blackmailing by finance police. Manos Limpias (Mani Pulite) is the name of one of them and pretended to be a trade union (‘sindicato’ in Spanish). However, Manos Limpias seems to be closer to the crime syndicate than to a worker’s organization. However, this organization has two remarkable characteristics: its chairman is a former leader of francoist party Fuerza Nueva and it is specialized in lawsuits against left movements and Basque and Catalan nationalists. Seemly Manos Limpias uses lawsuits demands to blackmail its victims.

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In the same week of the two previous cases, the major of Granada and other members of the municipality were arrested charged of corruption in urbanism issues. A new scandal for the Popular Party!


And the show goes on!

I don’t think that a government could be formed before May 2sd, unless current president Mariano Rajoy gives up in his will to continue as president of Spain. Only in that case, a government could be agreed and new elections avoided. A member of Popular Party (current vice-president Soraya Saenz de Santamaría?) will be the president of a coalition government of PP and Ciudadanos, helped by the abstention of the Socialist Party. Probably, a no long lasting government, but that could imply a further step in the pasoskization of PSOE.

Polls say that new elections won’t bring great changes. Do we believe in polls of media controlled by finance powers? Popular Party will win again, Ciudadanos will increase it votes, and both Podemos and PSOE will have loses. The main difference is that PP and Ciudadanos, that it the right, will be closer to an absolute majority than nowadays. As far I’m concerned, Podemos and the United Left should stand together in order to maximize the MP outcome for the left. And both together should search alliances with the peripheral nationalist left.  That’s surely the only way to bring the actual change to Spain. Podemos and the United Left are sending signals to each other through the media. Let’s hope for a real commitment!

In the meantime in the Basque Country, we are looking forwards to our legislative elections due to be next autumn. Arnaldo Otegi, leader of the abertzale left, came out of prison in Mars, after more than six years imprisoned because of his engagement in the finding of a way to end ETA’s violence. His followers has the faith that his leadership will help EHBildu coalition to recover from the bad outcome of last December’s elections, but six years could be too long time for the youngest and too short for the oldest. Anyway, next legislative elections could mark a change of cycle in Basque politics, since the strong irruption of Podemos could pave the way to set up a new majority with no room neither for the Basque Nationalist Party neither for the Socialist Party. Both have been the pillars of governability in the Basque Autonomous Community in the last three decades. Let’s see!

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