King Felipe facing final fruitless talks with Spain’s political leaders

Negotiations have failed to bring parties close to a deal to find a new prime minister, in the wake of the inconclusive December polls

Miquel Alberola
The king (r) with acting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy at a recent award ceremony.
The king (r) with acting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy at a recent award ceremony.Javier Lizón (EFE)

King Felipe VI will on Monday begin the third and last round of talks with Spanish politicians to determine whether there is a last-minute chance to form a government, or whether new elections have to be called.

Efforts by parties to reach governing deals following the inconclusive elections of December 20 have proven fruitless, and the deadline for the dissolution of parliament is May 2.

The Spanish monarch will see eight political leaders on Monday, out of a total of 14 who are penciled in to discuss the political situation with him.

Podemos and its regional associates also seem more interested in holding new elections

But it is unlikely that the meetings will yield any surprises. The three best-performing groups at the last election – the Popular Party (PP), Socialist Party (PSOE) and Podemos, who will all see Felipe VI on Tuesday – seem unwilling to make any more efforts to craft alliances following the failure of their recent attempts.

The PP, which earned the most seats (123, but far from the 176 required for an overall majority), is politically isolated and has failed to attract a single vote of confidence from the opposition. Its strategy from the beginning has been a passive one: it is simply waiting for a new election that, polls suggest, would bring the PP added representation in parliament.

The PSOE managed an alliance with the emerging group Ciudadanos, but their combined seats are not enough for a majority and other parties refuse to lend their weight to the project. Socialist leaders refuse to associate themselves with the PP and its corrupt image, and balk at the idea of a deal with Podemos, whose program includes greater public spending and a self-determination referendum for Catalonia, among other incompatibilities. It is unclear whether a new vote would benefit the party.

Sign up for our newsletter

EL PAÍS English Edition is launching a weekly newsletter. Sign up today to receive a selection of our best stories in your inbox every Saturday morning. For full details about how to subscribe, click here.

Meanwhile, Podemos and its regional associates also seem more interested in holding new elections and are toying with the idea of running in tandem with the United Left. Podemos leader Pablo Iglesias had initially made overtures to the Socialist Party, but his demand to be made deputy prime minister and to receive several specific ministerial portfolios cooled relations between himself and PSOE chief Pedro Sánchez. Iglesias also refuses to enter into any alliance that includes Spain’s other emerging party, Ciudadanos, even though both started out with a similar message of change against the political establishment.

Ciudadanos has emerged in its supporters' view as the party that has made the greatest efforts to save voters from a new election by offering to mediate between the PP and PSOE, and by entering into an alliance with the latter. Although the reform party has a weak structure outside the big cities, surveys suggest that it could do well at a new election, which would be held on June 26.

English version by Susana Urra.

Tu suscripción se está usando en otro dispositivo

¿Quieres añadir otro usuario a tu suscripción?

Si continúas leyendo en este dispositivo, no se podrá leer en el otro.

¿Por qué estás viendo esto?


Tu suscripción se está usando en otro dispositivo y solo puedes acceder a EL PAÍS desde un dispositivo a la vez.

Si quieres compartir tu cuenta, cambia tu suscripción a la modalidad Premium, así podrás añadir otro usuario. Cada uno accederá con su propia cuenta de email, lo que os permitirá personalizar vuestra experiencia en EL PAÍS.

En el caso de no saber quién está usando tu cuenta, te recomendamos cambiar tu contraseña aquí.

Si decides continuar compartiendo tu cuenta, este mensaje se mostrará en tu dispositivo y en el de la otra persona que está usando tu cuenta de forma indefinida, afectando a tu experiencia de lectura. Puedes consultar aquí los términos y condiciones de la suscripción digital.

More information

Recomendaciones EL PAÍS
Recomendaciones EL PAÍS