Spanish socialist tries to flee to the front

Before the constituent parliamentary session, Sanchez sought advice from the Left Front in Portugal

A preliminary decision for Pedro Sanchez will be made today at the constituent session of the Spanish Parliament. The test of whether the loser of the election has a small chance of becoming head of government will be the election of the parliamentary president. Against the much stronger right-wing People’s Party (PP), the second gross election loser, he wants to make former Basque government leader Patxi Lopez parliamentary president, and for that he has made a pact with the "Ciudadanos" (Burger) closed.

To do so, he needs votes from a wide range of parties, as his PSOE has plummeted to the worst result in the party’s history, landing in the elections on 20 October in the hands of the Spanish government. December with 22%, just ahead of the new party "Podemos" (We can do it). A stalemate has arisen in the elections. Neither can the right-wing parties govern together – nor are the votes of Podemos alone enough for the Social Democrats to become head of government or to impose a parliamentary president.

Spanish socialist tries to escape to the front

Spanish Parliament. Image: Dilema/CC-BY-3.0

Sanchez is therefore looking to Portugal, where, contrary to the expectations of many observers, a left-wing government was formed in November against the stronger conservatives, across all historical divides. Because they had not found a partner to get a majority. The Spaniard somehow wants to follow the example of Socialist leader Antonio Costa. That’s why, after the elections, his route so far has not been to Sigmar Gabriel in Berlin to talk about the Social Democrats’ experiences with a rough coalition, but last week he visited Portugal.

The conservative head of government Mariano Rajoy’s appeal to follow the German example was met with an increasingly clear rejection "No" against it, as he did most recently in an interview with the television station "Sexta". This surprised many, because the prere in this direction became stronger with the surprising formation of a government in Catalonia, which now wants to force the way towards independence. But for this situation, Sanchez blames Rajoy, who sees the "Confrontation aggravated" have, which is why a "political change in Spain more urgently" as ever before. He also referred to "positive" Experiences in Portugal. "In Spain we can do something similar to Portugal, an alliance of progressive forces."

But since he rejects a pact with Basques and Catalans who support independence, he now started to dance on the tightrope in an interview. He did not define what progressive means to him and spoke of his PSOE sharing a common vision with Podemos and with the "Ciudadanos" (Burger) the "path of change". But Sanchez is also aware that the Burgers are a right-wing party. "We want to get along with Podemos and Ciudadanos, build bridges to the left and to the right", he said. So he tried to make a somehow "Change" with "progressive" equate.

The "Burger" The Social Democrats are more neoliberal than the PP, and are almost more hostile to foreigners than the party, from which many cadres such as party leader Rivera come. Therefore a confederation with them had nothing to do with the example of Portugal. There, socialists governing with the support of the Marxist Left Bloc (BE) and the Green-Communist CDU ended austerity policies, raised wages and pensions, and lowered taxes to relieve the broad population from the harsh cuts of the conservatives’ neoliberal policies, which buried Sanchez. He could also address this with Podemos, which also has a different policy from the burghers on the ie of Catalonia.

Sanchez is desperately propagating this impossible alliance because it is a matter of his political survival, which would only be secure as head of government. He could only reach this position by approaching Podemos. On Tuesday, Podemos leader Pablo Iglesias called on Sanchez to choose between neoliberal austerity policies with the Ciudadanos or a break with them with Podemos. "The PSOE must choose between an agreement with the PP and the Ciudadanos or with us", he said.

Podemos has no real reason to enter into a pact with the PSOE, come hell or high water. In the event of new elections, it can hope to outflank the divided Social Democrats and then attempt to form a government under its leadership. Quite a few observers believe that this is precisely why Iglesias has put Catalan self-determination at the top of the agenda after the elections.

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