Friday, May 25, 2018

The Government will now Fall

Spain is at a tense moment this Friday, with the Partido Popular in disarray following the sentencing in the Gürtel trial on Thursday - with several important ex-members of the party receiving exemplary prison terms, and the PP itself cited for improper party finance, with a 250,000€ fine. A couple of days earlier, on Monday, the ex-minister of the PP and Valencia strong-man Eduardo Zaplana was arrested and jailed without bail for another case of party corruption.
The leader of Union Podemos, Pablo Iglesias (the Media can't tear itself away from a story of Iglesias buying a large house with his wife and paying a hipoteca) has said he would support a moción de censura - a vote of confidence (reasonably common in Spanish politics) with Pedro Sánchez, the PSOE leader as candidate for president.
The PSOE has now announced that it will indeed table the debate. They would need either all of the smaller independent and regional groups to back them, or else the hard-to-fathom Ciudadanos party.
Ciudadanos, a party that is liberal yet right-wing, anti-corruption yet tied to the Partido Popular, has been mealy-mouthed so far, saying that they will support the motion only if Mariano Rajoy does not call for elections (they certainly don't like the idea of anything up to a two-year legislature under the control of Pedro Sánchez).
Mariano Rajoy could still decide to take the initiative and call for new elections, with a fresh candidate for the Partido Popular. (No, apparently not - once a moción has been tabled). Rajoy's latest reaction is to say that 'Sánchez wants to be president at any cost', despite '...the damage to Spain's stability'.
Either and any way one looks at it, the present Government has fallen in all but name (as forecast by me six weeks ago here).

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