This week we discuss the Croatian presidential election and the possibility of Spain finally getting a government

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No Election Left Behind

Croatian Presidential Election

Show Notes


Also happening

Spanish Government Formation

Rejected!

So as expected they lost the initial vote where they needed an absolute majority... Their plan is to make agreements with enough regional parties in order to pass the second vote to form a minority government where abstentions don't count in the final tally (so they just need a simple majority); however...

  • They need quite a few to abstain (>20 by my count but please correct me somebody, They got 166 (PSOE + Podemos + etc) with 18 abstentions). Which is effectively all the regional parties, and there are a lot of them.

  • One of the representatives from one of the Canaries' parties voted against in this first vote instead of abstaining... so it's possible they don't have the votes if more go this way. If they get all the same votes for but the same number of abstentions they win but their margin is 2 according to agreements

We'll find out on Tuesday I guess

The debate did not sound fun.. a lot of breaking up of Spain nationalist rhetoric from PP and Vox :-/

https://www.dw.com/en/spains-sanchez-loses-first-of-two-chances-to-return-as-pm/a-51892166?maca=en-rss-en-all-1573-rdf
https://elpais.com/elpais/2020/01/03/inenglish/1578066750_393888.html
https://www.ft.com/content/20fea4d6-2fc2-11ea-9703-eea0cae3f0de
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/November_2019_Spanish_general_election

Deals Deals Deals

There's two, main one first:

  • Podemos, the actual coalition deal:

"...include tax rises for higher earners and large firms, an increase in the minimum wage and the partial overturning of aspects of the conservative Popular Party’s previous labor reforms."

"income tax for those earning more than €130,000 a year will rise by two percentage points, and by four percentage points for those who earn more than €300,000. Capital gains tax will also rise by four percentage points above €140,000, to 27% compared to the current 23%. Corporate tax will have a new minimum rate of 15%, while banks and energy firms will have to pay 18%."

https://elpais.com/elpais/2019/12/30/inenglish/1577714366_854324.html
https://www.politico.eu/article/pedro-sanchez-to-present-program-for-ruling-spain-in-coalition-with-far-left/

Sounds good and some reasonable things for Podemos to have gotten that are further than the PSOE would have been planning alone

  • Republican Left of Catalonia (ERC), the deal with the largest regional party (by a long way) to abstain and give a chance at the government being formed

The deal sounds like what would have been a pragmatic solution to this all along and it only coming to fruition now is ridiculous...

"The text makes clear that for the PSOE, the situation in Catalonia is a “political conflict,” a definition that the ERC wanted included from the outset of their negotiations."

"The text of the deal sets out a forum with no restrictions on the content of discussions, and that will get going 15 days after the new government is formed."

There are caveats that in the deal the constitution is conspicuously absent indicating Sanchez's people didn't want to make it all about allowing a mechanism for independence or similar, the concession seems to be they made it clear nothing is explicitly off the table

Casado of the PP indicated he might be willing to take this agreement to court... on constitutional grounds I guess? The PP have remained fun since Rajoy...

Also the shroud of ongoing legal proceedings will in no doubt affect any formal discussions. The Catalonian president is being ousted by the courts (https://www.politico.eu/article/catalan-president-faces-being-removed-from-office/); many independence advocates have either been sentenced, are awaiting sentence or are in exile... Not to mention the whole ECJ siding with the elected MEPs not allowed to take their seats.

The EU Parliament is expected to recognise those "banned" as MEPs as early as next week (https://www.politico.eu/article/oriol-junqueras-carles-puigdemont-parliament-to-recognize-jailed-catalan-separatist-as-mep-next-week/)

https://elpais.com/elpais/2020/01/03/inenglish/1578040105_633743.html
https://www.politico.eu/article/pedro-sanchez-clears-last-hurdle-to-rule-spain-with-far-left/

Or I guess they could go for 5 elections in 5 years...