• Spain's news in English
 
app_header_v3
General election
Spain's Socialist leader heads to Portugal for tips on govt forming
Photo: Pedro Armestre/AFP

Spain's Socialist leader heads to Portugal for tips on govt forming

AFP · 7 Jan 2016, 14:14

Published: 07 Jan 2016 14:14 GMT+01:00

Portugal's right-wing coalition won October elections but lost the absolute majority it had enjoyed since 2011 - the exact same situation that Spain's conservative Popular Party (PP) now finds itself in after December 20th polls.

The current political limbo has left Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy scrambling to get support from Sanchez's Socialists (PSOE), which came second, to form a government.

But the PSOE has categorically refused to get into bed with the PP, and Sanchez's meeting with Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa is aimed at studying the country's recent experience, a Socialist source said.

The source added Sanchez wanted to "find out how (the current government) was formed and how it's going now."

After winning the October elections, Portugal's Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho was eventually forced to resign when his minority government was toppled by a leftist alliance led by the Socialist Party.

In Spain, a similar left-wing coalition composed of the PSOE, upstart anti-austerity party Podemos and smaller, regional nationalist groupings would be possible and if formed, would be able to bring down the conservatives.

But the PSOE is deeply divided over the issue.

On Thursday, several lawmakers on the left of the Socialist party wrote an open letter to Sanchez, calling for an alliance with Podemos - an ally of Greece's Syriza that emerged just two years ago on the back of exasperation over austerity and corruption.

"A left-wing pact is essential for the policies of social reconstruction that our country needs, such as the fight against unemployment that would involve new economic policies and the defence of the welfare state," they wrote in the online daily eldiario.es.

Story continues below…

And while Sanchez is considering such an alliance, others such as the all-powerful Socialist chief of the southern Andalucia region, Susana Diaz, are thought to be more reluctant.

These divisions in Spain's Socialist camp were sharply criticised in a Thursday editorial in the left-wing daily El Pais, which accused its leaders of making a "spectacle" of themselves.

"Not only is that undermining the possibility of forming a government for change, but it's also putting in danger the very survival of a party with more than 100 years of history," it wrote.

For more news from Spain, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Beach closed after shark attack in southern Spain
Arenas del Sol beach in Elche was packed at the time. Photo: VisitElche.com

A man was bitten on the hand in a suspected shark attack at a beach on the Costa Blanca on Friday prompting authorities to ban swimming as a precaution.

Madrid ups ante against Catalan separatist lawmakers
Independence flags in Catalonia. Photo: AFP

Spain wants to nullify a text approved by Catalonia's parliament urging the region to push ahead with its independence drive, warning separatist lawmakers of severe consequences.

The good, bad and the ugly of long distance relationships
Are their advantages to loving from afar? Photo: MsSaraKelly / Flickr

Dating guru Sally Fazakerley gives us the lowdown on what it is really like to endure a long-distance relationship.

Thousands hunt Pokémon Go in Madrid to break record
Pokémon fans gather in Madrid's Puerta del Sol. Photo: AFP

It may only have been officially launched in Spain two weeks ago but already Pokémon Go already has so many fans here that Madrid set a world record.

Manhunt in Spain for abductor of teenager in Britain
Have you seen this couple? Photo: Metropolitan Police

A European Arrest Warrant has been issued for a Romanian 27-year-old accused of abducting a teenage girl from East London.

Barcelona unveils 'shame counter' of refugee deaths
Not just a number. Photo: AFP

The counter will update with each refugee victim who drowns at sea.

Spain's King Felipe VI tasks Rajoy with forming new govt
Rajoy in parliament last week. Photo: AFP

Can Rajoy do it or will there be third elections in Spain?

The Local list
Ten great reasons to discover the real Malaga right now
Malaga's modern port. Photo: Nick Kenrick/Flickr

Don't just fly into the airport and head straight for a beach resort. Here is why Malaga is now a destination in its own right.

Summer jobs bring Spanish unemployment to six-year low
Spain's tourism boom creates summer jobs. Photo: AFP

Spain's jobless rate slipped to 20 percent in the second quarter of 2016, as the tourism boom provided much needed seasonal work.

Weather
Heatwave continues and then Spain's set for sand storms
Keeping cool in a Madrid fountain. Photo: AFP

Across Spain, 22 provinces are on alert for extreme heat as temperatures soar to above 42 C.

National
7 reasons why grandparents in Spain are simply the best
Travel
Barcelona bans Segways from tourist clogged waterfront
National
Spain pays €300m each year in pensions… to dead people
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
National
Police issue guidelines as Pokémon craze sweeps Spain
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
National
Another dodgy art restoration raises alarm in Spain
National
Watch: Man in wheelchair zooms past Barcelona traffic
National
Woof! How to find dog-friendly beaches in Spain
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
Travel
Tourist sparks bomb scare by locking suitcase to park bench
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Technology
Five brilliant apps to help improve your Spanish
National
Top ten tricks to survive the Spanish summer
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Travel
Off the beaten track: 14 best kept travel secrets in Spain
International
Keep calm and wait and see: Advice for expats post-Brexit
Features
Top 10 Spanish treats to keep you cool in summer
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
National
'I've had best time ever' insists American gored in bull run
Health
How to avoid heatstroke when Spain starts to sizzle
International
Champion of expat property rights in Spain awarded gong
National
Scorchio! Heat warnings issued across Spain
National
Brits demand dual citizenship for expats in Spain post Brexit
Sport
Spanish matador gored to death in the ring
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Lifestyle
Eleven types of men you might typically date in Spain
National
Spanish police rescue British teen trapped by dad in house for two years
Features
Seven burning questions for British expats about Brexit
Technology
Six free apps to simplify your summer in Spain
3,302
jobs available