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Spain's Socialist and Podemos parties set to start coalition talks


Spain

Spain's Socialist and Podemos parties set to start coalition talks

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Can the leaders of Spain’s Socialist Party and anti-austerity newcomer Podemos finally end the country’s political stalemate?

They are set to start talks on forming a coalition, seeing if there is any mileage in an, as yet, untried combination.

Spain’s been without a government since December’s inconclusive elections and the deadline for calling new polls is little more than a month away.

“With all due caution, we’re now closer to a new government than a new election,” said Pedro Sánchez, Socialist Party leader.

The Socialists insist that liberal party Ciudadanos should be part of the equation when it comes to a left-wing coalition.

But that is something Podemos leader Pablo Iglesias does not want.

“I want to ask (Ciudadanos) for statesmanship, in the public interest of Spain and the Spanish people – to collaborate in pushing out Mariano Rajoy and PP policies from the government,” said Iglesias.

A left-wing coalition would still be short of a parliamentary majority and would need other parties to abstain or vote in favour in a confidence vote – something that may not be easy to achieve.

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