Monday

10th Dec 2018

Crisis election changes political landscape in Spain

  • Rajoy delivers his victory speech Sunday - some voters are fed up with the de facto two party system (Photo: PP)

The Spanish conservative People's Party (PP) regained power and fringe groups did well in elections on Sunday (20 November).

The PP as predicted won an absolute majority of 186 places in the 350-seat lower house - the best result in the history of the party.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

Its leader and Spain's future prime minister, the softly spoken Mariano Rajoy, said he would run an inclusive government to restore the country's reputation after the outgoing Socialists presided over a massive surge in unemployment and a slump in market confidence comparable to Greece.

"Nobody needs to worry. There will be no enemies but unemployment, economic stagnation and the crisis," he told a cheering crowd from the balcony of the PP headquarters in Madrid. "Spain's voice must be respected again in Brussels and Frankfurt. We will stop being part of the problem and will be part of the solution."

Rajoy kept quiet on policy plans ahead of Sunday for fear of losing votes, but is expected to push for more spending cuts and reforms making it easier to sack people.

The centre-left PSOE, in power since 2004, received just 110 seats - the worst result in the history of its party.

Meanwhile, smaller parties doubled their collective seats to 54.

The far-left Izquierda Unida shot from just two seats to 11. The result was seen by commentators as a protest aginst Spain's de facto two-party system and the way it engineered the economy in recent years.

Amaiur, the left-wing Baque separatist party, did well in its first-ever election, with seven seats - immediately overtaking the older Basque National Party.

Catalans also turned inward, with the moderate nationalist Convergence and Union party winning 16 seats, up from 10 in 2008.

The centre-left Union, Progress and Democracy party received five five seats, up from just one. "This election marks the end of bipartisanshilp," its leader Rosa Diez said.

Merkel loyalist AKK wins CDU leadership battle

Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, seen as championing similar policies to Angela Merkel, has won the CDU party leadership contest and is thus the frontrunner to become chancellor once Merkel leaves. But a split party will mean challenges.

Analysis

CDU election - Merkel's big gamble or master move?

As the functions of Christian Democratic Union party leader and chancellor have historically always been held by the same person, the next CDU leader could take over Merkel's main job as well.

EU warns tech giants on Russian fake news

Social media platforms are told to tackle fake accounts and the spread of fake news more effectively before the European elections next May - or face regulation.

Soros' university forced out of Budapest, despite EU pledges

The American university is forced to move to Vienna, as EU institutions fail to curb Hungarian nationalist premier, Viktor Orban's push against academic freedom. "It is a dark day for Europe and a dark day for Hungary," the rector said.

Asylum for Macedonia's ex-PM puts Orban on spot

Authorities in Budapest confirmed the former prime minister of Macedonia, fleeing a jail sentence in his own country, has filed for asylum. Despite Hungary's strict asylum laws, the pro-Kremlin politician was not turned away.

News in Brief

  1. Belgium left with minority government after UN migration pact row
  2. EU court: UK can unilaterally revoke Article 50
  3. UK remains largest arms producer in western Europe
  4. Macron to address French nation in bid to calm tension
  5. Socialists confirm Timmermans as Spitzenkandidat
  6. France to investigate Kremlin influence on 'Yellow Vest' riots
  7. Air passenger transport in EU reaches record high
  8. Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer wins CDU leadership election

Opinion

EU parliament vote strengthens whistleblower protection

We must not undervalue what a massive step the European Parliament vote represents. The hard work has paid off. We can take a moment to celebrate, but the hard work begins again for finalising strong protection for European whistleblowers.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. International Partnership For Human RightsKyrgyz authorities have to immediately release human rights defender Azimjon Askarov
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersSeminar on disability and user involvement
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersInternational appetite for Nordic food policies
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Nordic Innovation House in Hong Kong
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Region has chance to become world leader when it comes to start-ups
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersTheresa May: “We will not be turning our backs on the Nordic region”
  7. International Partnership for Human RightsOpen letter to Emmanuel Macron ahead of Uzbek president's visit
  8. International Partnership for Human RightsRaising key human rights concerns during visit of Turkmenistan's foreign minister
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersState of the Nordic Region presented in Brussels
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersThe vital bioeconomy. New issue of “Sustainable Growth the Nordic Way” out now
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersThe Nordic gender effect goes international
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersPaula Lehtomaki from Finland elected as the Council's first female Secretary General

Latest News

  1. France and Germany back Dutch on human rights sanctions
  2. COP24: vital to keep big polluters away from climate policy
  3. EU foot-dragging puts rule of law at risk in Hungary, Poland
  4. Merkel loyalist AKK wins CDU leadership battle
  5. Brexit vote and Merkel's successor top This Week
  6. Brexit, migration, cities - and the UN pact
  7. EU Commission spins half-truth on 'unsafe' refugee boats
  8. COP24 Nordic Pavilion: sharing climate solutions with the world

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us