Monday, April 29, 2019

Spanish elections

Spain went to the polls yesterday in national elections forced by the government's failure to find a majority for its budget, and the result was to see the Socialists re-elected with better coalition options. The question now is whether the Socialists want to govern inclusively with regional parties, or ally themselves with the authoritarian Citizens party, which wants to suspend regional independence and crush regional languages and cultures in the name of Spanish "unity". Meanwhile in Catalonia pro-independence parties won another decisive victory, leading to a situation where the leaders of the regional election winner are in prison or exile. The way the numbers have shaken out means that the Catalan parties are no longer necessary for a majority, but if the Socialists wish to exclude the Catalans, they will need to rely on the Basques, who are hardly likely to tolerate a government which undermines regional autonomy. And if their support is no longer essential, that may give the government some room to actually negotiate a solution, in that independence or autonomy will no longer be proxies for attacking the government.