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Spain's Socialists make proposals for government deal but see new election likely

Spain's Socialists make proposals for government deal but see new election likely
FILE PHOTO: Spain's acting Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez greets Unidas Podemos' (Together We Can) leader Pablo Iglesias at the Moncloa Palace in Madrid, Spain, May 7, 2019. REUTERS/Juan Medina/File Photo -
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Juan Medina(Reuters)
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By Belén Carreño

MADRID (Reuters) – Acting Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez’s Socialists believe repeat elections are likely, but will on Tuesday publish over 300 policy proposals in a last-ditch effort to secure allies to form a government, a senior party source said.

Spanish politics have been in limbo since a national election in April that the Socialists won, failing however to get enough lawmakers to govern without the support of other parties.

Tuesday’s proposals, aimed at getting Unidas Podemos to support a Socialist government, include labour, pension and real estate reforms that could please the far-left party, the source said.

But the source, who is familiar with Sanchez’s thinking, told Reuters the Socialists now see a repeat election as the more likely scenario.

“What we see is 30% chance of a government deal and 70% of a repeat election. But we’re working on the 30%,” the source said.

“The idea with the document is on the one hand to pressure Podemos so that it feels the need to change its position and support Sanchez; and if not, we have already paved the ground for the electoral campaign.”

Podemos said the proposals looked interesting but reiterated a previous demand that the Socialists needed to be willing to share power with them – something they have repeatedly ruled out.

“Someone who is far from having half the support of citizenship cannot pretend having all the power. We say: Share the responsibilities,” Podemos leader Pablo Iglesias told broadcaster TVE in an interview.

The Socialists got 28.7% of the vote in April.

If there is no deal on a government by Sept. 23, repeat elections will be held on November 10.

“Pedro Sanchez has shown that he wants elections. I hope that he will think about it,” Iglesias said.

Sanchez is due to present the policy proposals at around 1200 (1000 GMT) at a Socialist party event.

(Reporting by Belen Careno and Joan Faus; Writing by Ingrid Melander; editing by John Stonestreet)

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