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Spanish Shilling

Some stories and experiences after a lifetime spent in Spain

How Are Things in the Spanish Government Right Now?
Thursday, March 14, 2024 @ 1:07 PM

If we can just play ‘catch-up’ here for a moment, know that there are two sides in the Cortes, the Spanish parliament. Following the election last summer, the PP took the most seats, but wound up with a minority that even an alliance with the far-right Vox wasn’t quite enough – just four votes short – to get them into power. Then the second party in number of deputies, the PSOE, took the opportunity to get all of the other groups, the briefly united left (or far-left), plus the nationalists and the Catalonian secessionists, to agree to vote in Pedro Sánchez as president. Only, the secessionists, the Junts per Catalunya (and to a lesser degree, the ERC), said they would pull out unless an amnesty over the independence events (and bogus referendum) of 2017 were shelved. All forgiven and forgotten.

Says the Financial Times here: ‘Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez has broken a parliamentary deadlock by striking a fresh amnesty deal with Catalan separatists aimed at protecting them from terrorism charges. A neat move, taking advantage of an EU definition of ‘terrorism’ narrower than Spain’s’. The PP had hoped to find support for their efforts against the amnesty from the European Commission for Democracy through Law (known as The Venice Commission) but the opinion from this body is that amnesties are acceptable in a democracy, thus stymying the efforts of the Spanish conservatives to weaken the government and even cause fresh (and likely winnable) elections.

“Thank you to the Popular Party and the Senate for requesting this report. Thank you from the bottom of my heart,” the Minister of Justice, Félix Bolaños, said last week with a smile on his face. The director of describes the PP as being ‘victims of their own propaganda’ here.

Pedro Sánchez reacted to the news during an official visit to Chile by saying that the current legislation will now last the full four years – as elements of the judiciary continue to seek ways to bring the edifice tumbling down.

The exiled leader of Junts Carles Puigdemont, living peacefully enough in Belgium, ‘celebrated the outcome with a tweet in which he thanked the PSOE for its “willingness”, but also announced that he has no intention of stopping there. “Now, self-determination. We have every right to continue the independence process”, he crowed. The amnesty (passed in a vote on Thursday), will now be slowed down (but not stopped) by the PP-controlled Senate before passing into law somewhere in late May or June.

A protest was held in Madrid on Sunday against the amnesty. The PP and Vox were both at the event. Many Spanish flags were waved by the protestors, as they do.

The next important subject was to be the budget for 2024, but this has now been dropped following the surprise collapse of the Catalonian regional governmnet and the announcement of fresh elections there for May 12. Changes and rivalries from the Calalonian politicians in Madrid would make a national 2024 budget difficult to pass.

Other proposals for this legislation include a ban on prostitution and the recognition of Palestine as a country.

The lesson is that a small party with just seven deputies has managed to hold to ransom the government of a modern democracy. But what would have been the price to pay, we wonder, if the Partido Popular had have won the summer elections with the help of Vox?

For example, the far-right Voxers wants to ban all nationalist parties.

It looks like we might get a clue of how this could have played following the results this Sunday in Portugal with a hung-parliament and the far-right Chega taking third place.

Like 1


PablodeRonda said:
Sunday, March 17, 2024 @ 7:52 AM

Very informative. Thank you, Lenox.

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