Politics In Spain: Changes In Government

The political scene in Spain has changed dramatically in the last two months.  Changes in governers and political parties have produced a fracture in political stability, and it remains to be seen how this will affect Spaniards.  What is the current political situation in Spain?

Political Parties

Until May, Spain was governed by the political party known as the 'Partido Popular' (Popular Party), whose president Mariano Rajoy, was the president of the Government (that is the Prime Minister).  Following the motion to censure presented at the Congress of Deputies, the new President of the Government is Pedro Sanchez, of the 'Partido Socialista Obrero Espanol' (Spanish Socialist Workers Party or PSOE).  This means that Spain has moved from a right-wing conservative government to a left-wing socialist government.

What is the motion of censure?

The Spanish constitution (dating from 1978) establishes that the politcal parties that form part of the Congress of Deputies may demand political responsibility from the government.  A vote is then taken to elect the new President, provided that at least one tenth of the Members agree to the motion of censure.  If it succeeds, the new President is proposed by the party submitting the motion, which in this case was the main opposition party, will take office.

In Spain there have so far been 4 motions of censure, of which only the most recent have been accepted.  The previous 3 occured in the years 1980, 1987 and 2017 and were all rejected.  The one of 25 May 2018 was the only one accepted in the history of Spain, and will undoubtably be part of the history books as it is such an important event.

The constitution imposes demanding requirements for a motion of censure and specfies the necessary procedures down to the smallest detail, ensuring that such a change of government is ordered rather than chaotic.

Reasons for the Change

In recent years, all political parties have blamed the economic crisis for causing almost every problem in Spain, but corruption cases have been the final triggers for the parties to attack each other and for this change of course in the country's politics to take place.  Political corruption has been and continues to be widespread in recent years.

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How it affects the economy

The change of government has been well received on the stock exchange, as the markets seem to have reacted postively.  This is the opinion of experts in the field, who indicate that the Ibex35 (the main Spanish stock market index) has recovered somewhat with an increase of 6.5%.  However, in recent days we Spaniards have been seeing changes in policy that may or may not prove to affect our pockets, so we will have to be alert to all changes that take place.

Sometimes the changes are good, sometimes not.  At the moment there re those who are not in favour of a change of government and others who are hopeful that this change will improve many situations.  Only time will allow us to see the progress of politic in Spain, although the general population has welcomed this change in government with interest.

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