Government accuses Socialists of drifting towards “the radical left”

PM Rajoy warns PSOE that deals with extreme leftist groups would be “bad for stability”

Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaría speaking after the Cabinet meeting
Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaría speaking after the Cabinet meetingULY MARTIN (EL PAÍS)

Spain’s ruling conservative Popular Party (PP) is worried about what it sees as a drift towards “the radical left” by the main opposition Socialists (PSOE).

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy told a press conference on Friday that it would be “a very serious mistake” to give power to “extreme left-wing parties” because that is “bad for Spanish stability.”

Keeping the PP out of potential pacts, as the Socialists have proposed, would be a “profoundly antidemocratic” decision, he added, asking for the most-voted party to be allowed to govern at the municipal and regional levels in the wake of the May 24 elections.

Keeping the PP out of potential pacts would be “profoundly antidemocratic,” said PM Rajoy

Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría has called upon Socialist leader Pedro Sánchez to “reflect” upon whom he wants to team up with a view to investiture deals.

“We are very concerned that they might accept left-wing governance proposals with a significantly radical component, which can only create uncertainty,” she said after Friday’s Cabinet meeting. “I don’t know if what the PSOE wants is for Spain to revisit moments like the terrible crisis we just experienced, and that we don’t want to ever see again.”

Many of the country’s city councils and regional assemblies are poised to swear in new officials following the May 24 elections. But the highly fragmented political scenario that emerged from that ballot has forced the best-performing parties to seek each other’s support in the absence of absolute majorities.

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Profound change

Now, the PP is concerned that emerging leftist alliances could take away the power centers where it only secured very narrow victories.

Sáenz de Santamaría suggested that the Wednesday meeting between Sánchez and Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy failed to produce positive results.

Sánchez has also met with the leader of anti-austerity party Podemos. Both Sánchez and Pablo Iglesias have stated that their foremost goal is keeping the PP out of office in as many places as possible.

An alliance between the Socialists and the Podemos-backed Ahora Madrid bloc could wrest Madrid City Hall from the PP in the coming days.

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