On the Network this week Chris Burns and his guests look at what is at stake in Spain’s general election later this month.
Can the ruling Partido Popular win an abosulute majority of will it have to form a coalition government or could one of Spain’s new parties such as Ciudadanos or Podemos hold the balance of power? What effect will the outcome have on the Catalonian drive for independence?
In the studio with Chris are Lucía Abellán, Brussels-based correspondent for the newspaper El Pais, Karel Lannoo, Chief Executive Officer of the Centre for European Policy Studies, and Enrique Serbeto, Brussels-based correspondent for the newspaper ABC.
Lucía Abellán, Brussels correspondent El Pais:
“Well this election is quite uncertain since there are 41 percent of voters who haven’t decided who to vote for, but I think Ciudadanos is the most likely to be the kingmaker since they could also go into coalition either with the PP and also with the socialists.”
Karel Lannoo, Chief Executive Officer of the Centre for European Policy Studies:
“As a Flemish person from Belgium and the way we have overcome our nationalist problems…what’s happened in Spain I think is that Rajoy has been far too stubborn in not willing to talk, or not willing to talk openly let’s say, to Artur Mas, with the Catalans, refusing any conversation or form of compromise. I think if we have Ciudadanos in the government or as king maker it could change things entirely.”
Enrique Serbeto, Brussels correspondent for the newspaper ABC:
“Ciudadanos is a political party born in Catalonia and it’s going to change the political landscape in Spain, which is something symbolic in my opinion and according to the polls the first political party in Catalonia in this election will be Podemos, which is a party born in Madrid so I think that somehow the links will still exist. Let’s find a way forward through dialogue.”
Click on the video to see the whole programme