Turn in Spain: coalition agreement Socialists-Podemos


but they do not have an absolute majority

In the agreement with Iglesias the role of deputy prime minister would be reserved. However, the agreement is not enough to have an absolute majority of 176 seats in Parliament

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From the left, the socialist leader Pedro Sanchez with Pablo Iglesias, leader of Podemos (EPA)

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The scenario considered less likely is coming true: Spain could come to have its first coalition government. Not the great compromise between the Socialists and the People, however: the outgoing socialist leader Pedro Sanchez, and the head of Podemos Pablo Iglesias reached a pre-agreement on Tuesday to try together to unlock the political impasse in the country. The two political exponents – who during the failed negotiations this summer had come to have tense relations – instead embraced, after signing the agreement.

With breath on the neck of the extreme right of Vox – third party in Sunday's vote – Sanchez has put aside his reservations towards Iglesias' populism, claiming he wants to give the country a "progressive" government, open to other political forces. In Iglesias, which Sanchez had not wanted in the government he hoped to form before the vote – the role of would be reserved vice premier.

Opening up to other political forces is a necessary step: the agreement between Socialists and Podemos is not enough to have an absolute majority of 176 seats in Parliament: in fact, the PSOE can count on only 120 deputies, Podemos out of 35. The total is 21 seats below the majority. With the exception of the Popolari and the right-wing force Vox, the possible alliance with some of the Basque and Catalan autonomous forces remains.

Sanchez and Iglesias had met on Monday night at a secret meeting, during which they reached a pact to unblock the situation, recovering, without vetoes, the terms of last July's negotiations. The coalition agreement is divided into 10 points, ranging from the fight against corruption to the plan against climate change to the control of public spending. The Catalan question is obviously also addressed, with the aim of "normalizing political life" in the region in the face of independence pressure. Less strict than the socialists in economic policy, the Iglesias populists are more moderate in the face of the demands of the autonomists of Barcelona.

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